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Taking Your Pets on Vacation

It may seem counterintuitive that a pet sitting business would be writing about taking your pets on vacation with you, but sometimes it’s the only option — or maybe you just want Fido and/or Fluffy to come with you.
That said, bringing a dog or cat isn’t as simple as loading up your car, truck or SUV and calling for Spot to jump into the back seat.
Let’s look at some things you should do (and not do) in advance.

Driving
For one thing, get your pet used to riding in the car. Short trips around the neighborhood are a good start, and you can increase the distance from there.
Remember that riding in a car can be dangerous for a pet, so consider using a travel crate, a harness or a doggie car seat; under no circumstances should a pet be allowed to wander a vehicle uncontrolled. While it may be fun to see a dog sticking his head out the car window, that can be dangerous. The same is true for allowing a small dog to sit in your lap when you drive.
Also take breaks to let your dog stretch his legs, go to the bathroom and drink water. Feeding your pet in a moving car is a dicey proposition as it might cause motion sickness.

Flying
Before you even start making plans, find out what the airline’s pet policy is. Policies differ from airline to airline, so get the details before you’re unpleasantly surprised. For example, federal regulations call for pets to be at least eight weeks old before they can fly.
Procure an airline approved carrier. Add some of your pet’s blankets or toys so there are familiar, comforting associations.
Before you fly, exercise your pet as much as practical.

Hotel/motel/bed and breakfast/other accommodation
Is the hotel you’re booking pet-friendly? Better check in advance. Get their policies in writing and find out whether there’s a fee or security deposit involved.
Avoid damage charges by bringing along blankets to cover any furniture your pet may claim as sleeping quarters. Bring along lots of toys for the same reason.
If you’re bringing a cat, make sure the litter box is clean, so you don’t stink up your room and others.
For safety’s sake, when your animal is outside the room, make sure they are restrained at all times.

Other
 *A checkup by the veterinarian before any trip longer than a day or two is wise. Make sure all vaccinations are up to date. The airlines may require health certifications, too.
* Always have a collar on a traveling pet. That collar should include detailed contact information. Also, include that information on any traveling crates you bring. Microchipping your pet, if you haven’t already done so, is a good idea.
* Don’t forget to bring your pet’s medications. Create a first-aid kit for your pet, too.
*As always, never leave your pets alone in a car on a hot day even for a few moments.

AG

Comments

  1. Its a big responsibility. I always check everything before going on a vacation with my pet. Its really important for everyone.

  2. Thanks for sharing this helpful information. You are inspiring me to travel with my pets. I love traveling to different places, but I was worried about it. Actually, I got a lot of information from your blog. Thanks.

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