Traveling is stressful. And your dog agrees. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go on a vacation together! Just follow these simple pet travel tips so that everyone, including the tail chasers, chronic droolers, and expert sniffers, can escape the rat race for a little while. You'll be tossing that Frisbee on the beach in no time!
1. Pick the Destination
Unless you’ve got extra dough to invest in pet daycare, plan a leisurely getaway. You need time to walk your dog, pet your cat, or converse with your talkative parrot. After all, pet vacations are a good opportunity to bond with your favorite furry family member! If you’re planning an eventful getaway and hope to sightsee all day every day, consider kenneling your pet or leaving them at home with loved ones. Remember, many destinations have parks, events, and activities that make it easy to go on a pet-friendly vacation. For instance, you can take surfing lessons with your dog in Coronado, California or ride the bus with your dog in Seattle, Washington!
2. Pick a Pet-Friendly Vacation Rental
Finding a good and inexpensive pet-friendly hotel is hard to do and once you stay in one, you’ll quickly get bogged down by all the rules and regulations -- make no bones about it. Instead, turn to a pet-friendly vacation rental and shelter your neurotic Chihuahua or sizable Great Dane in cozy, spacious surroundings that are extra accommodating to four-legged vacationers, and will remind them of home sweet home.
3. Vets Know Best
A week or two before hitting the road or hopping a flight, get your pet checked up at the vet. Make sure they’re healthy and in good condition to travel. Update any necessary vaccinations and ask your vet to supply you with a health certificate. (Airlines and some vacation rental owners will ask for this information.)
4. The ID Tag: Don’t Leave Home Without It!
Firmly attach an accurate, up-to-date ID tag to your pet’s collar. Consider fastening on a temporary tag, too, that has the address of your pet-friendly vacation rental on it. That way, a lost dog or cat can be swiftly returned to you. Microchipping your pet is a great extra step to take, but an ID tag is a must! Unfortunately, traveling with your pet increases your chances of being separated from them, so ready yourself for a runaway pooch or loose feline.
5. Don’t Pack Light
Your trip will go along swimmingly if you pack enough items to keep your pet safe, entertained, and happy. Here's a sample packing list:
- A container of water for the plane flight or road trip
- Pet food (don’t change your pet’s diet, they've already got enough on their plate as it is) and an accompanying can opener
- Food and water bowl
- A sturdy leash
- Flea medicine and other prescribed medications
- Health certificate
- Carpet cleaner (for those “bad dog” moments)
- Your pet’s favorite toys
- Bedding and extra sheets/towels
- Portable carrier (if possible)
- Pooper scooper (or cat litter box with litter, liners, and a scoop)
- Grooming brush
- Contact information of your at-home vet clinic and a few local vet clinics
- Photos of your pet in case he or she gets lost
- Your dog's favorite outfit
6. Are We There Yet?
If traveling by air, thoroughly investigate the airline’s pet policy ahead of time – be prepared for hidden fees and the possibility that your pet may have to ride cargo. Not all pets or airlines are created equal! If you’re lucky, Fluffy can hang out under your seat. If Fluffy’s downgraded to cargo, though, take some precautions. For road trip planning, factor in the number of extra stops you’ll have to take to appease your pet. Certain packing items should be easily accessible on the journey (like a leash, water, food, and toys).
7. Oh Behave!
While you and your pet have lots of room to roam, relax, and play in a pet-friendly vacation rental (versus a small, restriction-filled hotel room), there’s a pet owner etiquette you should keep in mind. By the time you’ve checked in, you’ve likely paid a pet deposit. Get it back by: shooing your pet off the furniture, feeding your pet on an easy-to-clean tile surface, keeping your pet company most the time, and leashing your dog outside while keeping your cat inside at all times.
You can easily minimize your canine's travel complaints on an upcomping pet vacation by abiding by these 7 simple rules! From pet-friendly vacation rentals in Coronado to Manhattan, we've got a variety of accommodations that will make your dog's ears perk up with excitement!
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