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Most pet parents, today, don’t want to leave their fur-babies home. Because of that many hotel chains and AirBnB and bed and breakfasts are opening their doors to pet parents and their well-behaved dogs and cats.
You may have a pet sitter with whom you entrust your pets, but maybe this holiday season you want to bring them along. When you plan a family get-away and taking your dog or cat along, it could post a few challenges, but with the plethora of family destinations that are opening their doors to humans and pets, more doors are being opened for family travel.
We trust that if you are traveling with your dog that he won’t spend the days and nights barking or scratching the doors where you’re staying! Even a pet-friendly destination won’t be too welcoming if that happens. Most pet parents who travel with their pets do what they can to assure their pets are ideal guests.
How can you travel safety with your dog or cat this holiday season?
Start traveling with them when they’re young. A puppy or kitten who is accustomed to the motion of a car and to wearing a vehicle safety restraint or being in a crate will be more likely to be a better traveler. Many people find, if they only bring their pets in the car when they take them to the veterinarian, the dog or cat only has that memory: Car trip = scary veterinarian.
Take short, fun trips with your pets before you take off on a long journey. Take your puppy to a park where he can run and jump and play. Take your kitten for a ride around the neighborhood, just to get her accustomed to being in a car. No one wants to ride next to a cat who is anxious and scared and howling the entire ride!
Your trip will take longer. When you travel with your dogs and cats, you need to plan for roadside potty breaks. Pack a collapsible litter box for your cat and determine before you take your trip how you will let him out of his carrier to use the litter box – pre-planning is key!
Some dogs are such creatures of habit and if they don’t regularly travel, they may not want to take a potty break on an unfamiliar surface or on grass that doesn’t smell like home. This is another reason you should take your dog on trips before the long road trip begins.
Pack for the road trip. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit. They will appreciate having items from home that have scents they are accustomed to when they are going to a familiar location. Bring your dog and cat’s beds. Bring a favorite toy or blanket from home.
Bring their own food. A road trip is not the time to experiment with new foods – that could lead to vomiting and diarrhea and that will not make for an enjoyable trip for anyone!
If your dog and cat are on any medications, don’t forget to bring those along as well.
Routines matter. Even though you may have early mornings and late nights with friends and family, your pets will appreciate sticking to their routines. Feed and walk them on the same schedule.
Identification tags and collars with current contact information are crucial! Don’t leave home without considering getting your dog and cat microchipped. Talk with your veterinarian about the procedure. Even if your dog and cat are microchipped, make sure they wear a collar with an ID tag. A stranger who finds your pet wandering loose may not think to have him checked for a microchip, but a collar with a tag is a visible identifier of who the dog or cat belongs with.
Keep your pets away from open doors. A dog or cat may be inclined to bolt out the door of an unfamiliar location. At home your dog or cat may never be interested in being near an open door, but if they’re not at home their anxiety could lead to different and unexpected behaviors. If you’re in a hotel or a rental property that provides a cleaning service, put up a do-not-disturb sign so the cleaning crew won’t let your pets loose. If you need or want the room cleaned, find out when that occurs and take your pets on an adventure with you until the room is tidied up.
All of these tips will help you travel safely with your pet. Your PetFirst Pet Insurance policy will help protect your pet in the event of an illness or injury. Carry a copy of your policy with you when you travel; keep a copy of your policy with your pet’s current medical record in the unlikely event you need it while you’re vacationing. To protect your wallet, but more importantly, your pet, get a PetFirst Pet Insurance quote.
Guest Post by Robbi Hess
Robbi Hess is a full-time pet blogger and multi-published author. She shares her life with a diva Poodle, a goofy Goldendoodle, two Devon Rex, a senior ginger kitty and three reptiles!