If you plan on hitting the road for the fall holiday season – or taking to the skies – and taking your furry friend with you, planning ahead is an absolute must.
Here are a few travel tips to keep in mind when traveling with your pets.
Plan a Packing List
Planning out a packing list before any trip isn’t just a good habit for humans, but it applies to pets as well. Set aside a separate bag for all your pet’s essentials so that everything is packed together.
- Food/water bowl
If your pet is going to be in a crate for the majority of your trip, be sure to include their favorite blanket or even an old t-shirt that smells like you for some extra comfort.
You wouldn’t dare think of taking your children on a car trip without making sure everyone is wearing their seatbelt, and your pet should be no different. There is a range of dog seat belts and harnesses on the market to fit just about every size of pooch. These can make all the difference in keeping your pet safe and comfortable during the trip.
Even when traveling with a pet carrier, you should still take precautions to keep it secure so it doesn’t slide around in the car. This can easily be done by slipping the seat belt through the handle or around the carrier itself.
Prep Your Car
Not every pet is exactly enthusiastic about going on a trip. In fact, traveling either by car or plane can often be incredibly stressful for pets. If your pet has a tendency to get car sick or have accidents when stressed, be sure to lay down plenty of towels in your car before pulling out of the driveway. (This will also help keep pet hair off the seats.)
While we’re on the subject of travel prep, if you know your pet gets stressed easily, it may be worth speaking with your vet about medication that can help your pet relax on the ride.
Don’t Forget Important Documents
When traveling with pets, applying the Boy Scout motto of “always be prepared” is never a bad idea. Be sure to bring along either paper copies or a copy on your phone of any important information regarding your pets, such as vaccinations or medication prescriptions. This will make getting your pet the proper care it needs that much easier in case of an emergency.
It’s not only smart to plan for the pet essentials that you’ll need to bring with you, but doing some research in regard to other aspects of the trip is a good idea, too.
- Many airlines have specific travel guidelines for pets, so check before booking.
- Some hotels only allow certain breeds, and others are strictly no pets allowed.
- Make a note of the closest veterinary hospital near you in case of emergency.