According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 70 percent of American households have a pet. Many of these families love going on vacation with their pets. While traveling with your pet can be fun, planning, preparing, and patience are essential. Pet travel tips that are most useful include ensuring your pet is safe and comfortable throughout the journey.
These are the top travel safety tips to help you and your pet vacation
Planning is required for pet-friendly trips
Before you travel with your pet, make sure Fluffy or Fido is allowed to stay wherever you are going. Josh Snead (CEO of Rainwalk Pet Insurance) advises that you plan your vacation far more in advance than you might typically. Finding pet-friendly accommodation might be more complicated than you expected. The last thing you want is to scramble to find someone to watch your pet.
Ensure you understand what “pet-friendly” means at your vacation rental or hotel. Heather Eisenstadt, founder and CEO of Top Dog Pet Travel says that it is essential to inquire about their acceptance policies if you’re traveling with a pet dog over 15 pounds. Many places do not allow large dogs or have strict breed restrictions.
Dr. Molly DeVoss is a veterinarian and behavior specialist who has had to struggle to find cat-friendly hotels. She founded the non-profit Cat Behavior Solutions. Many hotels claim to be pet-friendly, but they mean dog-friendly.
Ensure your pet is familiar with how you’ll be traveling before leaving for your trip. You can take your pet on a flight, but ensure they have time in the carrier. Practice runs if you plan on taking your pet on a road trip.
Eisenstadt says that while some dogs love riding in cars, others might be anxious until they get used to it. Take your dog on short car rides to get him used to driving in a car. Take your dog on short walks around nearby towns so that he is comfortable outside and meeting other dogs.
Pet safety is all about keeping them contained and comfortable
The Humane Society of the United States recommends that cats and dogs be placed in pet carriers or crates attached to the seat with a belt. Even though dogs love to look out of the windows, it is unsafe. There are risks of falling, jumping, or getting hurt in a sudden stop or collision.
It is an excellent idea to provide distractions for your cat or dog. Eisenstadt says that pet parents might want to keep their dogs busy, just as parents would want to keep their children entertained on vacation. A happy dog is an engaged dog. Keep your dog entertained for hours with various chew toys, including those you can hide treats in.
Dr. DeVoss suggests covering your cat’s crate with a blanket when traveling with them in the car.
Dr. Amanda Takiguchi is a veterinarian who founded Trending Breeds. She recommends soft-sided carriers that can fit under the seat for airline travel. She says that your dog should be able to stand up and turn in the page. The airline should have mesh sides for airflow… Your dog should be able to lie down comfortably in it.
You should stick to a routine when traveling with your dog or cat
It can reduce stress and anxiety by sticking to your pet’s routine while on vacation. Brandi Hunter Munden, vice president for public relations and communications at the American Kennel Club, says, “If you normally take them out at 7:05 a.m. and 2:05 p.m. and 7:07 p.m. respectively, you want that to continue.” You want to keep the familiarity going as long as possible.
Water and food are the same. Eisenstadt advises that you bring your dog’s usual food or know where it can be purchased. Switching food can cause digestive problems. Keep them fed on the same schedule.
Make sure your pet is taking their medication at the exact moment. Also, make sure you have enough to last your entire stay. You can also add your veterinarian’s phone number or cell number to your contacts. This will help you plan and know where your pet can be taken in an emergency.
For your pet, create a home away from home
Set ground rules for your pet once you have arrived at your destination. Hunter Munden says, “Let them explore a little bit but make sure they know where the potty is.” Don’t leave your dog uncrated to reduce damage to spaces due to anxiety or new environments.
Sadie Cornelius advises that pets shouldn’t be allowed to “dig around in” things just because they are out of reach. She manages creative and content marketing at Canine Journal and is often on the road with her dog. All those decorations that are new to them could be fun toys. They should be kept out of reach of your pet.
Pet-friendly hotels often prohibit pets from being left unattended in their rooms. You can leave your pet at home if you are renting a place. If they need to be left alone, keep them in a crate and give them toys and other distractions. Dr. Sarah Wooten is a small animal veterinarian who is also a public speaker.
You can safely make your pet feel at ease while traveling by bringing everyday items. Dr. Sabrina Kong is one of the vets who works with WeLoveDoodles. She says, “You should bring your pet’s favorite items to make the place where you will stay feel like home.” Their toys, sheets, and pillows will make them feel more at ease.