Summer Travel With Your Pet

It’s the end of summer and many people are making last minute travel plans.  If you want to take your pet with you there are a few things you should consider in your plans to help ensure everything goes well for you and your pet.

If you are not going very far with your pet then you don’t have to worry, if you have to, you can always simply go back home. But if you’re traveling any distance where you cannot easily make a return trip home, you’ll need to plan your trip thoroughly and take your pets needs into consideration.

Pre-planning: Is your dog ready for a trip?

Before going on a trip make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations or better yet get a titer done. If it’s been a while, schedule an appointment with your pet’s vet and have a check up before you leave. A sick pet will not travel well and could cause unexpected messes. Remember your pet can’t tell you when they are feeling ill, pay attention to their behaviors.

If you are going by car you’ll want to pre-plan your route for pet-friendly rest spots. These are places where you can safely take your pet without worry of him/her getting into any trouble. Traveling with pets is common and you should take note of rest areas, parks and recreational areas along your route, most of these places will have areas to accommodate pets. Be considerate and use the pet potty bags you brought to clean up any messes your animal left behind. You did bring them, right?

Many hotels and travel destinations are becoming very pet-friendly, but some are not. Picture this:  You drive all day; you are tired and looking forward to a nap. You pull into the hotel and drag yourself inside eager to check yourself in. Your dog barks and the clerk says, “Sorry we don’t allow pets.” Trust me, avoid this nightmare. Before you book your lodging learn what your destination’s policy is regarding pets.

Play Santa, make a list and check it twice:

Besides potty bags, you’ll want to bring other things. Make a list otherwise you might arrive at your destination only to discover you forgot something important. I recommend bringing the following:

  • Dog Food (Enough for the trip, plus a few extra days worth. Changing food halfway through a trip could cause your pet to get sick.)
  • Bowls (for food and water.)
  • Water in a thermos.
  • Your pet’s favorite toy. (You don’t want a bored Fido to pick something expensive to chew on.)
  • Towel (To dry your pet. Imagine the beach.)
  • Pet Wipes (Always plan for possible messy clean-ups)
  • Potty bags (Let’s face it this is a reality. Be considerate.)
  • Dog tag/PawTags (With your dog’s name, and your current contact information.)

I also recommend a crate or a pet seatbelt in order to keep both you and your pet safe in case of an accident. While we’re on the subject of safety, if you haven’t already, consider getting your pet mirco-chipped. If your pet is registered it will be invaluable in helping return your lost pet to you.

Before you go, make sure Fido does:

Right before your trip, make sure your pet has a chance to go potty. This is especially important if you plan on putting them in a crate. Nature will happen and in small spaces, it will be messy.

Offer your pet food and water no less than two hours before traveling. Allowing your dog to eat or drink too soon will lead to an upset stomach, which will obviously not be productive for you or your dog.

In the car or during those pre-planned stops offer your pet plenty of water.  I use a collapsible bowl and fill a thermos to ensure I do not run out.

Traveling with your pet can be a joy. Taking the time to plan for the journey will help to ensure a good time. Follow these steps and you can’t go wrong!

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