Vacation sounds great and all that until you have to find one big problem: what are you going to do with your pets while you’re gone?
If you’re going away for a couple of days, most pets are going to be just fine. Some video surveillance (there are so many pet cameras to choose from and some are even featuring automatic treat dispensers!) help your pet while you’re gone (and you too, giving you peace of mind about their safety and well being). However, when you’re really going on a vacation, you need to decide whether you’re going to take your pets with you or not.
Going on a vacation with your pet is not as easy as it seems (especially if you have a dog that barks at strangers or doesn’t like being away from home). Cats don’t make it easier either and some may end up scratching everything in sight when you’re on a vacation. Needless to say, the whole vacation feel goes down the drain when you have to pay for the damage your cat has been making.
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Why take the pets on vacation?
Most pet owners out there are going to admit this: their pets are part of the family so they need to take them when traveling.
Here are some good things about taking your beloved pet on a vacation:
- He’s going to enjoy all the attention of your relaxed family. Everyone’s schedule has cleared out and no one is stressed about work or school anymore
- He’s going to get the best care
- He’s going to enjoy a lot the new sights, experiences, and smells
- He’s not going to be stressed out about the new environment as he’s together with people that love and care for him
Any downsides when traveling with pets?
Suffice to say, taking your pets on a vacation isn’t as easy as one may think. by the contrary, there are plenty of things to take into consideration:
- It’s common for pets to get car sick when traveling for a lot of time
- It’s difficult to find accommodations as most hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfast establishments have strict rules about pets
- You may have to pay extra fees for your pet at some vacation spots or parks
- If you’re flying, your pet may not handle being in confined space at all
- You need to stop more often when you ride the car with your dog.
- You’re not going to be able to go into a restaurant with your pet and he’s going to be stuck in the car. This is really dangerous on a hot summer day.
Any vacation etiquette to consider?
Having said that, if your mind is still set about taking your pet on a vacation, you should make sure that he’s one sports traveler. A well-behaved dog makes a nice impression and helps everyone feel better. here’s what you need to do:
- Check to see if the hotels you book allow pets. You want to do this the moment you’re making the reservations. Stay safe and ask the hotel manager to give you in writing their pet policies
- Treat your pet for fleas before you leave. You want to reduce the risk for infestation in your car and hotels
- You should expect some fees/deposit when traveling with pets. There’s no point in arguing with the hotel manager. You should simply go elsewhere if you don’t like their politics about pets.
- Ask about the pet policy wherever you go with your pet (park, restaurant, various venues)
- Don’t leave your pet in the room for many hours. You don’t want your dog to start barking and disturb the other business travelers
- Get your blankets for protecting the furniture inside the room.
- Never allow your dog to jump on other people as it may frighten them.
- Get enough toys for your pet. You don’t want your dog to chew/cat to scratch on the furniture.
- Make sure that your pet is restrained at all times when you’re not in the room
- Walk your dog only in the designated areas. Pick up after him, responsibly disposing of the waste.
- Remember to take your dog out for a walk before bedtime and early in the morning. You don’t want any accidents to happen in the hotel room.
- Keep the litter pan clean so that no smells are wafting down the hall or into other rooms.
Any tips to keep in mind when traveling with dogs/cats?
As you can see, when you’re taking your pets on vacation, there are many rules to follow. His vaccination should be up to date and you also need to take his heath record in case you need it. Don’t forget to take him to the vet before you leave so that you’re 100% sure that he’s healthy.
Are you planning a car trip?
Here’s what tips are going to make the ride a lot more pleasant for your pet and anyone in the car, as well:
- Start with some short trips so that your pet gets used to riding the car. Extend the trips for long periods of time
- Create a safe place for your pet in the car. A travel crate, a doggie car seat or a special harness are only a few of the options you have. Have a chat with the vet; he may have some better ideas for your pet
- Take your pet around other people. You want him to have a nice reaction around new people. Don’t forget to give him a treat every time he’s behaving.
- Your pet has to wear a collar with contact information. It’s going to be easier to find him in case he gets lost.
- Don’t let any pets to ride in your lap. Don’t let them with their heads sticking out of a moving car either. It’s dangerous for them and everyone.
- Plan and prepare to take frequent stops for your pet. You don’t want any accidents in the car, do you?
- Have enough water for your pet. A drip bottle that is activated by your pet’s tongue is a great travel accessory. Stop as often as you think your pet needs. Dehydration is a serious medical condition.
Are you going to fly with your pet?
Here are some general rules and tips about pets flying on a plane:
- Ideally, you want your pet to fly in the cabin (it’s the safest place). Animals have to be under 15pounds to ride in the cabin.
- They also need to fit into a carrier that is small enough that fits beneath your seat. They need to have enough room inside the carrier so that they may stand and turn around.
- In-cabin travel is only for small animals (cats, small-breed dogs, rabbits).
- Your pet has to be at least 8 weeks old to fly.
- You need the health certificate and the immunization records from the vet.
- Talk with the vet about the ways for reducing your pet’s stress level
- Go over the airline’s pet policy before you start planning. The last thing you want is to show to the airport, all ready for flying only to find out that your dog’s breed isn’t allowed on the plane.
- Give your dog a good run before checking him in at the airport. A tired dog is going to handle the flying a lot better.
- The regulations and fees may be different when traveling abroad and the laws in your final destination. Most countries are going to ask for a pet health certificate from the vet,
- Try to book a window seat for your pet. You don’t want him close to the action in the aisle
- The rules and guidelines for flying with emotional support animals/service animals are different so make sure you stay informed.
Does a train trip sound better?
Trains are actually a pleasant way to travel with pets, especially if they’re small. Dogs and cats up to 20pounds have been allowed on most routes of seven hours or less.
You need to pay a ticket for your pet and to make a reservation ahead. There are only 5 animals allowed per train, not including service animals.
Here are some other rules to remember about pets on trains:
- Your pet should be at least 8 weeks old. He also has to be healthy and harmless
- Your pet has to ride beneath seats in labeled and approved pet carriers. The maximum size for the pet carrier is 19” long, 14” wide and 10.5” high. Your pets need to be capable to sit and lie down inside the carrier without touching the sides.
- You need to sight a document that certifies that your pet’s vaccinations are current. You also need to accept liability for your pet’s wellbeing.
Some tips are going to make the trip a lot nicer:
- Give your pet a long walk before settling him into the carrier
- Try to be nice to your pet once you’re aboard
- Check her all the time so that she has enough water
- Comfort your pet with a calming and loving voice. Your voice can create anxiety or calm. Even if it’s funny, sing your pet a soothing lullaby for keeping her relaxed and calm.
One last tip
It’s pretty clear now how is your vacation with your pet is going to look now.
Ask yourself once again: which way is the best for my pet?