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Traveling with Pets

Written by Nora Hoey
Traveling with your pet can make your vacation more enjoyable for everyone, if done correctly. We’ve compiled the best tips for travelling with your pet below!

Health and Safety:
Health checks for your pet are a must before going anywhere. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and pack their medications and shot records. If you are unsure about anything, make sure to check with your vet ahead of time. Also, make sure to look up the nearest veterinary emergency hospitals at your destination and record the address and phone numbers in your phone. This can be crucial in an emergency. 

Crates are required by all airlines and essential when travelling with pets. Here are some tips to make sure your pet is happy in his or her crate. Make sure that your crate:

  • Is strong, with handles and grips, and free of interior protrusions.
  • Is large enough for your pet to stand, turn, and lie down.
  • Has a leak-proof bottom covered with absorbent material.
  • Has ventilation on opposing sides, with exterior rims or knobs to prevent blocked airflow.
  • Has a “Live Animal” label, arrows showing upright position, with owner’s name, address, and phone number.
  • Is stocked with a comfortable mat, your pet’s favorite toy and a water bottle, and your dog is ready to go.

Your Pet’s Identification:
Make sure your pet has a sturdy leash and collar with your pet’s name, your name and up-to-date contact information. Before leaving, think about if you want a more permanent way to keep track of your pet such as a microchip. In many major cities, microchipping pets is required. Always keep a recent picture of your dog with you in case of emergency.

Travel by Car
Before leaving for a long drive, prepare your pet by going on short car rides to get them used to the car. If your pet is prone to car sickness, consider having them travel on an empty stomach, but ensure your pet has plenty of water. If you are not securing your pet in a crate, you should always use a pet seat belt or pet car seat. While driving with pets, make frequent stops for exercise and bathroom breaks. Lastly, NEVER leave your pet unattended in the car, especially in extreme temperatures.

Flying with Your Pet:
Most airlines require vaccinations, all airlines require the rabies vaccination and some airlines require certification of the pet’s health no more than 10 days before. Also, some pets have difficulty with the airplane and airport environment, so it is important to consider whether your pet should receive medication to help with the trip. Lastly, visit the airline’s website to check their requirements as regulations vary from airline to airline and make reservations for your dog with the airline well ahead of time.

Travelling by Train, Bus or Boat:
Most buses do not allow dogs or other pets (with the exception of service animals), so if this is your mode of transportation, consider other options. As for trains, dogs must be under 20 pounds to ride on an Amtrak train, and there is a $25 fee. Cruises and other boats are normally more lenient, but always check their website and make reservations ahead of time just in case.

Not all hotels allow pets, so make sure to call and/or visit websites to find lodging near your destination that allows pets. When in your room/vacation home, pet-proof everything before leaving them unattended. Make sure electrical cords are out of reach, pick up things off the floor, etc. Consider crating them or confining them to a safe area if leaving them for an extended period of time. Keep in mind, one bad experience with a pet can prompt hotels and other lodging establishments to change their pet policies, so be considerate of others and do your best to avoid pet-related issues.

We hope you found this blog post helpful for your pet-travel needs! 

It is important to keep in mind that not all pets are good travelers and hiring a pet-sitter may be the best alternative for a stress-free and happy vacation…and that’s where we can help! The holidays tend to be a very busy time for pet sitters, so make sure to book with us in advance.

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