Millions of pet owners will take to the road and sky during this holiday season. Your vacation will be so much more meaningful if your pet accompanies you. If you have a cat, start when it is young, otherwise it will most likely not enjoy traveling. As for dogs, most all enjoy a good adventure as long as they are by your side.
Consider your pet’s personality. If it is not accustomed to being away from home, aggressive, skiddish, very nervous or has medical needs that require frequent attention, consider having a friend or family member care for it at home.
Here is a simple list of things you need to remember to do if you are traveling with a pet:
- Puppies, kittens and senior pets need a visit to the vet to be sure they are fit to travel.
- Bring your pet’s health records along. Could come in handy in an emergency.
- Get your pet acclimated to its crate or carrier months ahead of travel time.
- If flying, book the flight on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday as these are lighter travel days.
- 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.
- Bring harness or crate to assure your dog or cat is safe in the car. Use pet pads for accidents.
- Feed your pet lightly the day of travel and no sooner than 4 hours ahead of time. Keep them hydrated during the trip.
- Never leave them unattended, either in the car or at the airport.
- 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.
- If you are traveling internationally, know your destination country’s pet import rules.
- Bring supplies – leashes, treats, pick-up bags, medicines, dog or cat food.
- Contact a pet friendly hotel should you need one and talk to them about their pet policies.
- Bring pet towels for easy clean up.
Once arriving at your destination, enjoy a long walk and a good meal. Be sure and let your pet get accustomed to its new surroundings before you leave them for any reason.