Tips for traveling with pets
If you have a pet cat or dog, you may want to consider taking them on vacation with you. If you decide to bring your pet along, you’ll need to find a hotel that accepts pets. Be sure to find out if they charge any pet fees and the state laws for your pets visit, and lodging rules while you are staying at the hotel.
- Pack plenty of dog treats, food and toys.
- Bring plenty of bottled water for exercise stops.
- Make sure that your pet’s leash is easily accessible on driving trips. Never remove your pet’s collar and be sure the contact information is on the I.D. tag in case he should get lost.
- Plan ahead and make your hotel reservations well in advance and make sure that they accept pets. Confirm the pet policy before booking.
- Do not forget to bring bowls for water and food if the hotel does not provide them.
- Pack your pet’s bed, blanket and favorite toy to remind them of home.
- When driving, be sure to plan stops about every 3-4 hours to allow your pet to exercise and burn some energy.
- Do not feed your pet a large meal immediately before a long drive. Break up meals throughout the trip to minimize the risk of motion sickness.
- Reward your pet for good behavior in the car, at rest stops and in public places.
- Plan activities with your pet in mind. If an activity cannot include your pet, try to make some alternate plans for your pet in advance (doggie day care, a trip to the groomer, etc.).
- When dining, try to look for restaurants with an outdoor patio. Ask if your pet is allowed – many will welcome you and your pet.
- Never leave your pet unattended. New surrounding and the stress of traveling can cause you pet to act out in uncharacteristic ways.
- Do not leave your pet in the car on during the warmer months.
- Do bring plenty of disposable bags to clean up after your pet.
Additional Traveling Tips
Here are some additional traveling tips you should review and consider before taking your pet with you:
- Make sure you keep a list of veterinary clinics in the areas to which you are headed.
- Rabies vaccinations are required if you are planning on traveling abroad and for returning to the United States. Many airlines require these vaccinations also. Check with your vet for the complete range of vaccinations required, and check with the airline and country to which you are headed.
- If you are not traveling abroad, some local transportation businesses may not allow pets. Your options are reduced when traveling with a pet if using these modes of transportation.
- Car trips can be dangerous to your pet. A sudden stop or an accident can have your pet flying if he is not properly fastened. There are some special harnesses that you can buy for your traveling pet. You can also use traveling carriers. Be sure they are fastened with the seatbelt.
- Many dogs and cats do not travel well in cars. Consider speaking with your veterinarian about sedatives. If you pet gets car sick, consider traveling-sickness pills. Check with your veterinarian for recommendations and dosage before giving your pet any medications.
- There have been too many incidents of cats and dogs suffering from heatstroke after being left in a hot car. Leave at least two windows (for cross draft) open slightly to provide fresh air. You might consider one of those solar powered fans that fit in the window. The fan fits snugly in the window, the sun powers the fan, and air is circulate within your vehicle. However, it’s strongly recommend that you DON’T leave animals in the car in hot climates or during the warmer months, as even a short time in a hot vehicle can be injurious to your pet.