For most pet owners, their pet is like a member of the family. So, when you're planning a trip, what do you do when you don't want to leave your furry friend behind? You may want to consider bringing your pet with you. Not only does this include them in the fun, but it eliminates the need to find care for them while you're away. If you're not sure how logistics change when you're traveling with pets, check out some tips below.
What to bring when you travel with pets
If you're planning to travel with your cat or dog, there are things you'll need to remember to bring. You might be able to find a few of these items once you get to your destination, so consider researching what amenities may be available for your furry friend ahead of packing:
- Collar with ID tags
- Food (with extra)
- Bowls for food and water
- Any needed medication/supplements
- Waste bags/litter box
- Vaccination records
- Pet first aid kit
- Grooming wipes
- Training pads
- Flashlight for evening potty trips
- Extra leash
- Life jacket in case of swimming
- Printed photo in case you get separated
- Extra ID tag
How to plan a pet-friendly trip
Traveling with pets requires a little extra planning to make sure your furry friend can be accommodated. When you're choosing a location, do some research on the types of attractions that you'd be interested in visiting. If you're headed to a place where there are lots of hiking trails and parks, it may be the perfect place to visit with your dog. Alternatively, if it seems like you'll be spending most of your time in museums or art galleries, it might not be the right trip for your pet.
Climate is another important consideration. It's unlikely restaurants will let your pets inside, so it may be a good idea to travel somewhere with a warmer climate so that you and your pet are comfortable eating outside on patios.
Additionally, some accommodations have more pet-friendly travel options than others. When booking hotels, make sure to check the pet policy. Even places where pets are allowed may charge an extra pet fee per night or an additional cleaning fee. You may also wish to explore short-term rentals in the area that you're visiting. This could give you the opportunity to find a place with a fenced-in yard for your pup to run around safely.
Other considerations before you travel with pets
Part of traveling with pets is being a respectful and responsible pet owner. Before bringing your pet with you into shops, malls or even certain parks and trails, check the pet policy and make sure your animals are welcome.
If you're driving with your pet, don't forget to factor in stops for potty breaks. While puppies and older dogs may need a break more often, every two hours is generally a good rule of thumb.
Additionally, you may want to invest in a car harness for your pup. This will keep them safely in the backseat while you're traveling. Remember that airbags can injure your pet, so it may not be a good idea to let Fido ride shotgun. And if you're planning to travel with a cat, it will be safest in its carrier throughout the ride.
Flying with pets
If you're flying with your pet, make sure to get them checked out by your veterinarian beforehand to ensure it would be safe for the individual animal. Reach out to your airline and see what their pet policy is and what extra fees you might incur. Many airports have pet relief areas but be sure to check ahead of time. Additionally, you may want to fly direct to your destination, if possible, to minimize your pet's time in the airport and on the plane.
Before flying, you may want to get the answers to the following questions:
- Will my pet need a letter of medical clearance to fly?
- Can my pet ride in the cabin or do they have to fly in cargo?
- Do I have to buy a plane ticket for my pet?
- Can I print out the airline's pet policy online?
Traveling with pets can be a lot of fun for both you and your pet. To make the experience as seamless as possible, be sure to do your research and plan ahead to ensure your pet's safety and comfort.