Dec 15, 2019 | By, For Pet's Sake

Holiday travel with your pets

The key to successful travel is all in the details. It’s time to start planning if you plan to travel this holiday season, and that means making arrangements for your pets. Whether you plan to leave them at home or bring them along for the ride, here are some tips to ensure your travel plans don’t stress out your pet.

Prepare your pet-sitter
If you’re leaving your companion behind with a pet-sitter, make sure your pet has met them at least once and feels comfortable around them. If the person has pets, make sure their animals get along with yours. Scheduling a play date beforehand could help tremendously. Try to be courteous and groom your pet before you drop them off too. You don’t want a bad report about how your pet’s long nails scratched the couch or how their dirty coat stained the carpet.

If you choose to board your pet in a place with other animals, make sure it’s a reliable and clean business, and verify your pet has all its vaccinations. Doing your research beforehand will help mitigate the risk of your pet getting sick or hurt, learning bad habits, or simply having a bad experience while you’re gone.

Bring the right supplies
If you’re bringing your pet on the trip, think about what your pet will need. Pack enough supplies for the length of your trip, including a bit extra in case of emergencies. Measure the amount of food they would normally have and add up the total. Bring some toys, treats, and anything that helps them relax. The unfamiliar environment and the whole transportation process will likely make them anxious.

Safety first
It might seem like a daily occurrence to see a dog hanging its head out the window with a smile on its face. However, not all animals love car rides, and not everyone secures their pet correctly in the car. Use a harness and attach it to a seatbelt, or put your pet inside a crate and make sure it doesn’t slide around during the ride. If you do bring your pet crate or carrier, think about how well it would protect your pet if something fell on top of it.

Plan ahead
Just like you would look at an airline’s policy about carry-on luggage, you should research their policies about pets. Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines will allow you to take your pets with you, but pay attention to certain restrictions that each airline might have. You should also know about potential health restrictions that would prevent your pet from safely flying on an aircraft. It never hurts to overcommunicate with airline employees that you are traveling with your pet, and it’s also helpful to mark your pet carrier as specifically as possible.

When traveling by bus, read the company’s policies about pet storage and carrier dimensions.

Look for disclaimers and fine print when booking hotels. You don’t want to be surprised by hidden fees or completely turned away when you arrive.

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