When planning a vacation, finding a good pet sitter or kennel for your furry friends can be stressful to say the least. It's one of the biggest reasons many pet owners are deciding to travel with their pet - even taking cross-country trips with the fur babies in tow. Traveling with pets can be a lot of fun for the whole family, but it does require some advance planning. The five tips in this article will help you make your next trip a success.
#1 Preparing for Your Trip
There are three important things you should do long before the day of your big trip arrives:
First, make sure your pet is fit for travel. Before taking off, take your pet to the vet's for a general checkup. Make sure their vaccines are up to date. Get a copy of their shot records to take with you and if you are planning on flying, get a health certificate as well. If they are on medication, make sure you have enough to last the duration of your trip.
Second, purchase a sturdy collar, leash and pet ID tags. Whenever you take your pet to a new and unfamiliar place, there is a chance they could get lost. To better your chances of recovering your pet in case of emergency, make sure your pet ID tags are up-to-date with all the necessary information, including your name and phone number.
Third, get a travel crate ready. Whether you are traveling by car or plane, you'll probably need to have a pet carrier ready for the trip. Make sure the crate is big enough for your pet to stand up and turn around in. It should also be well ventilated and have a leak proof bottom, preferably lined with an absorbent material, such as potty pads. Toss in your pet's favorite mat, toy and water bottle just before hitting the road.
#2 Research Travel Requirements
Whether you are traveling by car or plane, you'll need to do a little pre-travel planning. If traveling by air, call the airline in advance to inquire what is needed to bring along your pet. Some airlines allow you to bring small dogs or cats in the cabin area with you while others only allow animals to travel in the cargo area. If your dog or cat is old or infirm, this may not be a wise way for them to travel. In addition, find out what kind of paperwork you need from your vet, if you need a special crate or carrier and if the places you plan to lodge at are pet friendly or not. Sorting out these details ahead of time will make your trip much less stressful.
#3 Road Trip the Right Way
Before driving from Florida to California with your pet, get him used to car rides by taking shorter trips around town together. When you do take your road trip, be sure to stop frequently (every few hours) for snack and potty breaks. Avoid dehydration by keeping plenty of fresh water available at all times during the trip (and that goes for both the two- and four-legged travelers). Never leave your pet unattended in a closed car. Especially during summer, even short periods of time in an enclosed vehicle can be fatal. Last but certainly not least, avoid getting in a wreck by keeping pets away from the driver. You can do this by keeping your pet in a crate, installing a barrier to the driver's seat in your car or keeping your pet harnessed with a specially designed pet seat belt device.
#4 Mind Your Traveler's Etiquette
Hotel Etiquette: When staying at a pet-friendly hotel, always respect the staff, hotel property and other guests. Try to keep your pet as quiet as possible during your stay. Ask where you can walk your dog and always clean up after them. Try not to leave your pet unattended in a room since they could become anxious, bark incessantly or even destroy hotel property.
Public Etiquette: When stopping at rest stops, restaurants or convenience stores along the way, always respect local rules about pets. When walking your dog, always clean up their mess.
#5 Take Advantage of Pet-Friendly Traveling Resources
The following resources will be a huge help before and during your trip:
• Pet Friendly Road Trip Planner - This road trip planner allows you to enter your starting point and destination and then reveals all the pet-friendly stops along the way, including lodging, restaurants, activities and services you and your pet might want to check out along the way.
• Pet Travel - This website has a plethora of information about travel requirements for pets both nationally and internationally as well as travel checklists and more.
• Pet ID Tags - Get your pets a set of up-to-date ID tags for the road right here.
• Road Trip Music - Find out what kind of music dogs like best and maybe make a spotify playlist just for them :)