If you are a pet owner, you have two basic choices when you head out of town on vacation. You can board your pet at the local kennel or veterinary office, or you can hire a pet sitter to come into your home and take care of the essentials. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, but there is a third option many travelers never consider.
A growing number of hotels are offering pet-friendly options for their guests, welcoming four-legged travelers and encouraging pet lovers to stay the night. Advances in technology, like microchips and online directories, have also made it easier to travel with pets in tow.
Traveling with your pet can be a lot of fun, but having a four-legged traveler in tow does require some extra planning and preparation.
If you want to take your pet with you on vacation, you can, but it pays to make the right preparations before you leave the driveway. Traveling with your pet can be complicated, and you do not want to make the travel experience stressful for you or your pet. Here are some smart preparation tips to make your pet-friendly road trip more fun.
- Schedule a trip to the vet a week or two before your trip. It is important to make sure your pet is healthy before you leave.
- Ask about any additional vaccinations or treatments that may be needed. Your pet may need additional inoculations, especially if you are planning to be around lots of other animals.
- Get a copy of your pet’s vaccination records and keep it in your glove box. You need to be able to show proof that your pet has had all the required vaccinations.
- Invest in a sturdy carrier that is light enough to transport but large enough for your pet to be comfortable. Make sure the door closures are high quality and easy to operate, and that the crate or carrier is well constructed.
- Check with each hotel on your route about the rules regarding pets. Even if the hotel allows pets, you may have to pay a small fee or leave a deposit to cover any damage your pet may cause.
- Pack a travel kit for your pet, including a supply of food and treats, collapsible water bowls, a quality leash and an assortment of toys to keep Fido occupied on the road.
- Schedule frequent breaks so the family can stretch their legs and Fido can answer the call of nature. Plan to stop every few hours, and look for pull-offs with large grassy areas. Remember to bring plastic bags to pick up after your dog.
- Research local dog parks as you arrive in each town. Look for parks where your pet can relax and have fun while you get the lay of the land and research local attractions.
Traveling with your pet can be a lot of fun, but having a four-legged traveler in tow does require some extra planning and preparation. If you are willing to put in the extra work and take care of your pet on the road, you can have a great time and so can your pet.