For anyone whose family includes a furry friend, you know the difficult decision that comes with travel. Bring Fido/Fluffy along or leave them behind? While adding an animal to the travel equation can add a level of preparation, it doesn’t have to derail your trip. With the right checklist, bringing your pet can be stress-free, and may even add to the experience!
- Know your Pet: Before you can make all the necessary travel accommodations for your pet, you need to decide if traveling is the right decision for them. Lots of animals enjoy new environments, but some suffer from extreme anxiety — and if they haven’t traveled much in their lives, a trip may do more harm than good. If this is your pet, research local boarding offerings or, better yet, see if a friend or family member can watch them while you’re away.
- Prep! Prep! Prep!: Before hitting the road or taking to the skies, schedule a visit to the vet to ensure your pet is in good health and up to date on vaccinations. Be sure you have updated certifications and that your animal’s tags are up to date with current contact information. If this is your pet’s first time traveling, you could even take them on a shorter practice trip to see how well they handle it. If they get motion sickness, the vet may be able to prescribe something to help.
- Pet-Friendly?: Not all accommodations allow pets, so it’s crucial to plan your stay in advance. Many hotels, motels, and even vacation rentals now cater to pet owners. Websites and apps dedicated to pet-friendly travel, such as PetsWelcome, can help you find suitable places to stay. All My Place properties are pet-friendly and are happy to welcome you and your travel companions!
- Comfort on the Go: Make your pet’s journey as comfortable as possible. Bring their favorite blanket, toys, and a familiar bed to help them feel at ease in new surroundings. For dogs, consider investing in a quality travel crate or harness for safety during car rides. Cats may benefit from a secure carrier with proper ventilation. Pets thrive on routine, so while things are going to be different while traveling, try to stick to familiar eating, sleeping, and waking times if possible.
- Packing Must-Haves: Don’t forget to pack the essentials for your pet. Bring enough food, treats, and any medications they may need during the trip. A collapsible water bowl and waste bags are crucial for pit stops.
- Safety First: Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, safety should be a top priority. Secure your pet in a well-ventilated carrier, crate, or with a pet seatbelt to prevent injuries. For air travel, acquaint yourself with the airline’s pet travel policies and guidelines.
- Give ‘em a Break: During road trips, plan regular breaks to allow your pet to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and stay hydrated. Incorporate short walks or playtime to keep them active and happy. This not only benefits your pet but also provides a welcome break for you.
- Now What? Once you arrive, explore destinations that offer pet-friendly activities. Many parks, beaches, and hiking trails welcome four-legged companions. Research local regulations and guidelines to ensure a hassle-free experience.
- Be Mindful of Your Surroundings: Respect the rules and regulations of the places you visit. Always clean up after your pet, be mindful of other travelers, and keep your pet on a leash where required.
Traveling with your pet can create lasting memories. By planning ahead, prioritizing your pet’s comfort and safety, and respecting the places you visit, you can embark on unforgettable adventures together. So pack your bags, grab your furry friend, and get ready to explore the world together – the paw-sibilities are endless!