Of course, we want our pets with us all the time. They are our best friends and important members of our families. It only makes sense we would want to take them on vacation with us. But how do we do that? Here are some tips for traveling with your pet.
Before You Go
When planning for your trip, make sure to check if your pet will be allowed. Whether you are camping, driving across country, or even flying internationally, there may be different requirements for your mode of transportation, your accommodations, even the state or country of your destination. Get your vaccinations up to date. You may also need a health certificate and an acclimation certificate. When you take your pet for vaccinations, take time to make sure their identification information is correct and get your pet microchipped, if they aren’t already.
Not every pet travels well. Some would much rather stay with a relative or at a boarding facility. Consider your pets personality and whether they are well suited to travel. Pets that are outgoing and adjust easily to new people and new environments will make great traveling companions. When packing, bring along extra food and medication, an emergency water bowl, health documents, lots of toys, and a familiar blanket to help reduce stress.
Going by Car
Most of us travel by car every day. No big deal, right? But if the only place your pet goes is to the vet, they might have a different opinion. If your pet is not used to traveling in the car, start with short, happy trips to the park or a friend’s house. These will give your pet some good memories when traveling by car and will make it easier for them. To prevent carsickness, feed a few hours before you leave and keep your car cool.
For the safety of all the passengers of the car, use a carrier, crate or harness to secure your pet. Your pet should never be allowed to ride on the lap or under the feet of any passenger, especially the driver. We know you love your pet, but this rule will help keep everyone safe in the event of an accident. Stop every 2-3 hours for potty and exercise breaks and never leave your dog in the car unattended.
Flying to Get There
Flights all have their own requirements when it comes to pets. Double and even triple check that you are meeting them to a tee, this includes the crate or carrier. Register your pet with the airline ahead of time. This will prevent your pet not being allowed if the airline hits their maximum number of pets for that flight. Put as much information as possible on the collar and on the crate so they don’t get misplaced or put on the wrong flight. Veterinarians and pet travel experts recommend not using sedatives or unnecessary medication when traveling by plane. These can interfere with a pet’s ability to regulate their body temperature. Instead consider DAP collars which release a hormone that calms pets down. Finally, leave early for the airport and take a nice long walk before boarding to reduce stress.
Where you Stay
Hotels and campgrounds will each have their own rules and requirements for pets, which may include size and type requirements. Make sure your accommodations allow your pet. If you are staying at a hotel, try to get a room away from the elevator to minimize foot traffic outside. When you leave the pet alone in the room, leave the TV on for background noise and put the do not disturb sign on the door to keep housekeeping from scaring your pet. Create a safe place in the room for your pet, including familiar blankets, toys, and even your pet’s crate or carrier. This will help him feel more at home and less stressed.
Make your next vacation a real family getaway by taking your pet. With some planning ahead of time, you may get your best friend ready to go on vacation with you. There are lots of pet friendly hotels and even more pet friendly campgrounds. It just takes a little research and preparation so you meet all the requirements. Don’t leave your pet behind from your vacations again.