Do you have a pet? Travel without them can be lonely for you and your pet. Why not allow your pet to travel with you? According to recent statistics, an estimated 29.1 million Americans have engaged in pet travel within the past three years! You’ll find that there are more pet friendly hotels, motels, inns and campgrounds than you think, so bring your pet! Friendly hotels and other attractions that welcome pets are waiting for you! The key to successful pet travel is proper planning. Here are some pet travel tips:
Planning to travel with your pets
Before you and your pet travel, make sure your pet is ready for pet travel. Pet travel should only be considered if your pet is in good health. If you are unsure, make a visit to your local veterinarian for a complete checkup. If you have not traveled with your pet before, begin preparing your pet by bringing them on small day trips. Some pets do better than others when in unfamiliar surroundings and it is better to find out how they will react prior to your pet travel. If they do not do well, consider leaving your pet at home with a pet sitter or local kennel. If your pet travel will be out of state or out of the country, keep your dog or cats health care record and proof of vaccinations along with your other travel documents.
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What to bring when traveling with your pets
Pet travel will be easier if you bring along items that will make the trip more comfortable for your pet. Bring items from home that your pet is familiar with. This will make your pet feel more at ease. Items can include toys, chew items, blankets, bowls, favorite foods, etc. Pack canned or dry food that your pet is familiar with. If it is a brand that will be hard to find on the road, bring enough for the trip and a few extra days just in case your return is delayed. Don't forget to bring an opener for canned pet foods. If your pet takes vitamins or medications, be sure to pack them too.
An old blanket can come in handy as a bed or to use under a crate in the car or hotel. Bring some disposable towels for pet cleanup and baths, lining crates, spills underneath food bowls, wiping off paws and general clean-up.
Read our complete list of what to bring when traveling with your pets
Traveling by car with your pets
If you do not have any experience traveling by car with your pet, take them on several "practice" trips to see how they react and to help them become accustomed to it. When traveling by car with your pet, do not allow them to roam free to annoy the driver and passengers. For safety reasons, avoid putting your pet in the front seat. If your pet will be traveling on one of the car seats, use a dog car harness or for cats and small dogs a soft sided carrier or a plastic sided carrier. If your pet will be traveling in the rear of your vehicle, you can easily install a car barrier for your pet. Travel crates can be tied down in the back of your vehicle. If you use a crate, make sure that it is large enough for your pet to turn freely, stand, and lay down inside, with ample space for food and/or water dishes.
If an overnight is planned, find a hotel that allows pets prior to leaving on your trip. Avoid motion sickness by rolling down the windows a crack in order to provide your pet with some fresh air.
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Traveling by air with your pets
Most airlines allow pets. Plan your trip well in advance and check with your airlines pet travel regulations. Carry-on pets may not be allowed on transatlantic flights depending on the airline and destination. The number of pets that may be carried in each cabin is often limited. Make your reservations well in advance.
Some airlines allow pets to fly in the cabin with you if their carrier can fit under the seat check with your airline. The pet carrier counts toward the carry-on baggage allowance. Acceptable carrier sizes vary depending on the type of aircraft. Your confirmation e-mail usually indicates your aircraft type. If unknown, carriers up to 17 inches long x 16 inches wide x 8 inches tall are accepted on all standard aircraft.
Read more tips on traveling by air with your pets and find specific pet travel rules and regulations for the top 10 airlines in the United States and Canada.
Staying at pet friendly hotels
There are many pet friendly hotels, but being prepared can mean the difference between a disaster and a great time with your pet. Bring items from home that your pet is familiar with; this will make your pet feel more comfortable. An old blanket can come in handy as a bed or to use under a crate in the car or hotel. Remember to bring along your pets' favorite food and food bowls. Convenient plastic food dispensers take the mess out of filling dishes.
Before opening the hotel room door, make sure your pet is securely fastened to their leash. To confine your pet to the hotel area away from the door, consider a travel gate
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Things to do during the trip
Keep an eye on your pet and assess their health and general behavior on a daily basis. Watch for loss of appetite or energy, etc. Keep fresh water in a travel bowl with you at all times. Remember to feed your pet on their regular schedule Provide your pet with plenty of exercise. Give your pet extra attention and affection!
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