Traveling with pets is a dream for many pet owners. But traveling can be complicated enough without adding to the mix by bringing a pet along for the ride. The issues of traveling with pets include how to accommodate them in long car rides or on public transportation, how to ensure pets are safe away from home, plus a whole lot more.
The Alternatives to Traveling With Pets
But the trouble with leaving pets behind while vacationing can be equally problematic. Many pets don’t adjust well to pet kennels. In addition, some pet kennels are less than healthy places for your pet to be. The pet kennel may keep your pet confined in a small cage for hours each day, expose them to other animals that may become aggressive, or expose your pet to fleas, ticks and viruses.
If you have a pet sitter come and watch your pet, they may accidentally let your pet out the door without a leash, neglect their duties, or even snoop around your house while you’re gone.
Finally, you could send your pet to stay with a friend or relative, but even then, accidents can happen. Plus, your pet may get depressed because they won’t be with their favorite person – you.
What to Know When Traveling With Pets
Traveling with pets can be done with ease, as long as you plan ahead and plan carefully. You’ll need to be flexible and patient, but as a pet owner, you probably already are!
Booking at Pet-Friendly Hotels
When you book at pet-friendly hotels, be aware that they might have restrictions that aren’t obvious on their web site. Speak to someone on the phone instead of relying on an online booking. They may have requirements like you can’t leave your pet alone in the room, or you can’t have pets of certain sizes. They may also have a limited number of dedicated pet-friendly rooms. Be aware that most pet-friendly hotels charge an extra fee for those rooms, too. If you do all this, you’re less likely to be hit with a surprise when you check in.
Plan for Extra Stops if Traveling With Pets in a Car
You might be able to snooze comfortably while your partner is driving their shift behind the wheel. While you can switch off quite happily for hours on end, your pet may become anxious being cooped up for long periods of time. Be prepared to stop twice as often when traveling with pets in a car. This will allow for your bathroom and snack breaks, as well as give Fido a chance to stretch his legs and do his business.
Be Vigilant With the Collar and Leash
Some pet owners will opt to keep their pet inside a kennel cage while traveling. Others prefer to let Fido ride freely on the back seat or even up front. That’s a personal preference. But if Fido is sitting freely in the car, be extra vigilant about the collar and leash. As soon as that car door opens, Fido might try to make a run for it. Not recognizing the environment outside the car, he might quickly get scared and run off into traffic or into nearby woods. For safety and caution’s sake, keep Fido’s collar and leash on at all times, even when driving down the road. Before anyone opens up any car door, someone needs to be firmly holding onto that leash.
Obey the Rules
Pet owners traveling with pets have it hardest when trying to take advantage of vacation attractions like parks, beaches, museums, restaurants and other things. But don’t be tempted to break the rules and sneak Fido into places where he’s not allowed. Instead, contact the local visitor’s center for a list of places where your pet will be welcomed. Many beaches have designated pet hours, some parks have dog zones, and certain restaurants may be willing to accommodate you and your extended fuzzy family members if you sit on the deck or in the sidewalk seating area. Going with the flow instead of against it will cut down on any potential vacation aggravation.
Be Ready to Tackle Cleanups
Take along some extra supplies to tackle unexpected cleanups. Fill a tote with paper towels, spray cleaner, deodorizer spray and baby wipes. If Fido has a spill or other accident, you won’t be forced to stop everything for a trip the drugstore for cleanup supplies.
Traveling with pets is a lot easier when you take the time and care to keep everyone safe, happy and comfortable. This summer, there’s no need to leave your best friend behind!