Tips For Traveling With Your Pets

Dog with suitcaseWhat is a holiday when you can’t take every member of the family, and that includes your pets? Many people feel as though their dog or cat is a major part of their family and couldn’t bear leaving them at home or in a kennel for an extended period of time.  The truth is that not every pet can handle long-distance travel, so be sure to thoughtfully consider whether your pet’s overall temperament and/or any physical conditions or illnesses they have may create an overly stressful travel experience for both them and you.

Here is a simple list of things you need to remember to do if you are traveling with a pet:

1.Puppies, kittens and senior pets need a visit to the vet to be sure they are fit to travel.
2.Bring your pet’s health records along. These could come in handy in an emergency.
3.Get your pet acclimated to its  crate or carrier months ahead of travel time. 4.If flying, book the flight on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, as these are lighter travel days.
5. Know your airline’s pet policy and don’t try to get around it. You may have to eat the price of your ticket when you are not allowed to board.
6.Bring a harness or crate to assure your dog or cat is safe in the car. Use pet pads for accidents.
7.Feed your pet lightly the day of travel and no sooner than 4 hours ahead of time. Keep them hydrated during the trip.
8.Never leave them unattended, either in the car or at the airport.
9. Leave early and take your time. When in the car, stop frequently for walks. When heading to the airport, get to the ticket counter early in case the check-in lines are long.
10.If you are traveling internationally, know your destination country’s  pet import rules.
11. Bring supplies – leashes, treats, pick-up bags, medicines, dog or cat food.
12.Contact a  pet-friendly hotel should you need one and talk to them about their pet policies.
13. Bring pet towels for easy cleanup.

If you follow these steps and make sure you have everything you and your dog needs, you can both have a safe, comfortable, enjoyable trip and holiday.