If you and your four-legged buddy are totally inseparable, you've probably checked out dog-friendly vacations before. Chances are, you found it difficult to find something to your (or your dog's) liking. Sadly, you resorted to leaving your best friend with a sitter or at a kennel.

We're here to tell you that dog-friendly vacations can be done! All it takes is a little time, research and creativity.

Think Outside the Box

When planning your trip, the first step is not to settle on a certain city or geographical region, but to decide what kind of dog-friendly vacation you'd like to book. Make a list of possibilities: Outdoor adventures, beach scenes or family visitations. You could even bring your pet with you on an experience where volunteering hours of animal therapy is the objective. Once the purpose of your trip has been established, you can start crafting your adventure.

Find the Right Spot

Using the following methods, many travelers have designed special trips that got their dogs involved in the fun, creating their own dog-friendly vacations without the expense of a boutique dog hotel.

If you decide on a road trip, map your journey ahead of time to determine a list of all of the places near your route that your pet will enjoy. Call ahead to hotels, parks, beaches and roadside attractions to make sure dogs are welcome.

Perhaps you don't have much of a choice when selecting which city you visit, especially if you're visiting relatives. Explore the town's chamber of commerce web page and search for "pet-friendly" or "pet services" to find accommodations and venues for you to enjoy with your dog while you're in the area.

Don't forget: You don't need to spend every minute with your dog during your trip. A few weeks before you take off on your adventure, book a day or two at the doggie daycare near your travel location. Your dog will get a bit of exercise and socialization while you check out those not-so-dog-friendly sights.

Make It Happen!

Consider your plans for the next few months, and re-examine each weekend trip or family visit — maybe even your big summer vacation. Ask yourself: With a little resourceful planning and foresight, can your dog join you?

If you've done something like this yourself, leave a comment with your approach and the outcome. How did it turn out? Post a picture on our Petentric Facebook page — we'd love to see your dogs on summer break!