Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Taking the Stress Out of Holiday Travel with Your Pet

More than 29 million Americans travel at least once a year with their pets, so you won’t be alone this holiday season if you decide to bring along your dog or cat as a traveling companion. Before you hit the open road or friendly skies though, there are a number of things to consider and decisions to make.

Where to Stay? 

Pet friendly hotels are  becoming a more popular feature in the hospitality industry with plenty of resources that collect this information. Sites like GoPetFriendly and PetsWelcome not only have plenty of information about hotel chains and pet policies, but they also have a route-finder that lists all the pet-friendly hotels and motels along your particular route.

Family Ties

If you’re planning on staying with your family, there are a few simple rules you should consider before hitting the road:     
  • This one seems obvious, but you should always check with your relatives first to make sure they’re okay with your visiting dog or cat. 
  • Inquire about dog or cat allergies. You don’t want to introduce a dog or cat to a household that consciously avoids pets due to health issues.
  • Pack a healthy supply of familiar toys and a crate big enough for your pet to turn around in to give them a sense of comfort in their new environment.
  • Bring your pet’s own food, and don’t forget their personal food and water bowls.
  • Bring a bed for your pet to sleep in. You may be okay with your pets sleeping in your bed, but your host may not, so it’s important to bring a bed for your pet.
  • If your relatives have small children, introduce your dog and cat to them gently and calmly. Little ones can make four-legged guests nervous, and they may react aggressively by nipping or biting.
  • Provide your pet’s with a safe and quiet retreat when they’ve had enough and want to escape out of the holiday fray.
Pet Travel Pro Tip

Before you book a flight or gas up the car, ask yourself this question: Will my dog or cat make a good traveling companion? Meaning does your pet have the right temperament for travel. If not, consider boarding them or hiring a pet sitter. While it may be nice to have your pet there, if they’re not healthy or then tend to be anxious, it is best to leave them at home where there will be less stress.

Visit Your Vet

Before you travel, check with your vet to make sure your pet is healthy enough to take the trip. Request a certificate of health for each dog or cat if you are traveling to another state or updated vaccination records, customs documents and fresh medications if you’re going overseas.

Traveling with pets can be stressful, but we can help. Sign up for our newsletter to get more holiday travel tips and other pet news.