The world has become more pet friendly, making it easier than ever for families to travel with their treasured companions for the holidays. Although dog sitters or kennels are viable options for some, many pet parents prefer to take their fur babies with them wherever they go.
As a matter of fact, an infographic provided by DogVacay.com reports that 75 percent of owners take their dogs with them wherever they go. This 2014 survey from TripIt.com shows that 43 percent of respondents said their pets will impact their accommodations this holiday.
Before you pack the car or hop on a flight and hit the road, consider these helpful tips for traveling with your beloved pet.
- Consider whether your pet makes a good travel companion. It may best for pets who are sick, temperamental or anxious to stay behind.
- Determine the needs of your pet in advance and plan accordingly. Think about when and where your pet may need to eat, potty or exercise along the journey. If you’re flying, do your best to find a direct flight to make it easier for your pet.
- Gather what supplies you need before you go – leashes, dog collars, crates and car safety devices. Note that airlines often require current health certificates that are issued 10-30 days before the flight.
- Look for a pet-friendly hotel. More and more hotels allow pets, but with some restrictions. Do your research, ask questions and prepare accordingly.
- Find a pet sitter if you can’t bring your fur baby. Ask for referrals if possible and book a few weeks in advance if possible.
- Traveling with your pet on a plane can be tricky. Only dogs or cats who meet specific size requirements can ride in their pet carrier in the cabin, while larger animals must fly in the cargo hold of the plane. Temperatures on the day of travel are also a consideration; if it becomes too hot or too cold, pets may be prohibited from flying.
- When your dog is in the car with you, please buckle them up in the backseat using a pet harness that attaches to the seatbelt. If your dog is smaller than 15 pounds, secure him or her in a carrier or crate.
- To medicate or not? Anxious or temperamental dogs may need to be medicated for the trip. Talk with your veterinarian to determine what may be best for your pet.
- Remember your pet’s ID. Be sure to include your cell phone number (vs. home number) on the ID tag. You can even print a temporary tag just for the trip so your pet can be returned to you wherever you are traveling locally. Also consider getting a pet microchip so that you can be reunited with your pet no matter where you are – and even if the ID tag is lost for some reason.
The holidays are one of the busiest travel periods of the year, and taking your pet along with you can make your trip even more memorable and enjoyable.