Dig this… a portion of this post is sponsored, but opinions are my own and 110% “pawthentic”!
Ahh, summer! It’s a great time of year to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days and plan some vacation time. Many pet parents like to bring along the four-footed members of the family. This can give you all some time to relax and bond. Travel with pets, however, presents some unique challenges. With a little planning, you can meet these challenges so that the whole family enjoys a paw-sitively wonderful vacation. Here are some pet travel tips to get you started.
Before You Travel
- Make sure that your pet is able to travel. As much as you may want to avoid being separated from your pet while you’re away, in some cases travel with a pet just isn’t the best thing for either of you. If your pet may have difficulty traveling because of age, health concerns, temperament, or training issues, then it would be a kindness to make other arrangements. Many pet-sitters or doggie hotels offer all of the comforts of home. If a reliable friend or family member can pet sit, all the better.
- Make an appointment with your vet. Your vet can be a valuable resource when planning a trip with your pet. He or she will ensure that your pet is up to date on any required vaccinations and can provide you with information on any specific risks to your pet, like ticks, heart worm, or high incidence of rabies, in the area you will be visiting together. You may also want to ask about medication for motion sickness or anxiety. If you haven’t already done so, make your pet is wearing an up to date ID tag. PetHub digital tags are my favorite (so much so, that I’ve been asked to join their Board of Directors!) As a secondary precaution, ask your vet to insert a microchip before you travel.
- Find Pet Friendly Hotels. Finding hotels that welcome pets can be especially challenging for pet parents planning a family vacation. You can search for a pet-friendly hotel in almost any location worldwide at PetTravel.com.
- Purchase an appropriate pet carrier. This is especially important if your travel plans include any flying. Ideally, you will want to keep your pet with you in the cabin. Airlines have different requirements for allowing pets on board, so you’ll need to do your homework. Let the airline know ahead of time that you will be bringing a pet with you. They will fill you in on their specific guidelines. Or you can check out Sherpa’s Guaranteed on Board pet carriers. They allow you to choose your airline and enter the specifications of your Sherpa Pet Carrier to make sure meets travel requirements. If you follow these steps and are not allowed on board with your pet, they will refund the price of your airline ticket and your pet airline travel fee!
What to Pack – Pet Travel Checklist
Do you feel a little lost when you start to think about packing for your pet? Depending on your pet and your specific vacation plans, here is a pet travel checklist that can help you make sure that your furry family member has what he needs. Print off the checklist here.
- Vet documents. Bring along records of immunizations. These should be dated within 10 days of your departure date.
- Pet ID. Your pet should be wearing an ID tag on his or her collar, but you’ll also want to place identification and contact information on your travel crate as well. You may also want to purchase a temporary tag for your pet’s collar that includes information on how to reach you in your vacation destination.
- Photo of your pet. Of course you’ll do everything you can to keep your pet safe and with you, but if you do get separated you’ll be glad that you have a photo on hand.
- Leash and extra collar.
- Sheets and old towels. Use these under the carrier or to cover up furniture in your hotel room.
- Items from home. Many pets are comforted by the familiarity of having their own bedding or a favorite chew toy while they travel.
- Pet food and treats. If you are traveling to a destination where you may not be able to find your pet’s regular brand of food, make sure to pack enough to last the entire trip.
- Portable food and water dishes. Check out these great travel food dishes from Sleepypod. And my favorite travel water dish from Torus.
- Portable cat litter tray.
- Pet medications and first aid kit.
- Grooming supplies. You never know when you might need a brush or comb, tweezers, scissors, or a lint roller!
- Cleaning supplies. Accidents and messes happen. Make sure you’re prepared with disinfectant, carpet cleaner, and trash/waste removal bags. Here’s a great pet stain removal kit from BISSELL.
- Whether your travel plans include a long car trip or just a drive to the airport, you’ll want to protect your pet in case of a crash. Pupsaver makes a dog safety seat for your car (the safest on the market for dogs up to 45 pounds), complete with air features to keep your pooch safe. Crates and harnesses are smart restraint solutions for larger pets.
- Supplies for specific activities. If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, you’ll want to protect your pet from insect bites. Insect Shield for Pets is an odor-free garment that repels mosquitos, ticks, fleas and flies. Are you going to be hiking with your dog? Make sure you pack him a backpack, and maybe some booties for especially rough terrain. If your vacation plans include boating, then invest in a doggie life jacket.
No matter what your summer vacation plans are, if you plan on hitting the road with your pet, the most important thing is to relax! If you’ve prepared ahead, travel with your pet will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone.
This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions and anecdotes are my own, and I never promote any products or brands I don’t believe in. ~Petfully yours, Kristen