A recent survey from one of the nations leading pet care manufacturers asked Americans, if given a choice, would they prefer to travel with their pets? Over 70% of those Americans answered yes, they would prefer to travel with their pets. This is why many hotels, parks and other travel destinations are welcoming travelers with their companion animals. Before deciding to take your pet with you during your travel, make sure this is something your pet wants to do and not something that it is being made to do.
Take for instance, most dogs enjoy going for car rides and generally most cats don’t. You would most likely take your dog camping with you than you would your cat. Dogs seem to make the best travel companions than a cat would, especially on long car rides. Of course, there are those exceptions. Bottom line is your pet would much prefer to be near you than in a kennel somewhere, but only if this is a good idea. You don’t want to take a dog with you that has panic attacks in the car or one that will crawl all over you while you are trying to drive.
If you plan on traveling with your pet, consider these travel tips to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible.
1. Schedule your pet a check up with its veterinarian and ask for a certificate of health, along with proof of current vaccinations such as the rabies, distemper, and bordetella. It would also be a good idea to have your pet micro chipped, in case it should get lost. You would want to have your pet returned to you as quickly as possible, especially if you are traveling out of state.
2. If your pet is on medication, bring plenty of it so you’re not running out of medication when it’s needed. It would also be a good idea to have your veterinarian contact information in case you loose the medication, so the vet can call in a prescription should the other get lost.
3. Is your pet well socialized? A well socialized pet will travel more easily and tolerate the stress of traveling better than a pet that is not used to be in a car or around other people. You want the trip to be enjoyable for both you and your pet.
4. Is your pet well behaved? Although there are now many places that allow pets, no one wants to listen to a dog barking all night or during the day. You also want to keep your pet occupied so it’s not chewing on the hotel furniture or going potty on the carpet. You don’t want your hotel room to smell like a kennel and neither does the hotel staff or your next door neighbors.
5. Find out ahead of time that the hotel you make reservations at will accept pets. You don’t want to assume that there is a pet friendly hotel in a town you intend to stay in and when you get there, you’re turned away for having a pet or the one’s that allow the pets are all booked up.
6. Make sure your pet wears a collar with tags. One tag should be a current rabies tag and the other tag should have the dogs name, your name, address, town, state, and phone numbers. If you have a cell phone, add your cell phone number to the ID tag.
7. Most people choose to travel with their pets by car. Airline travel can be very stressful for pets, because they are treated like cargo and not like living beings. If you choose to travel by air plane, then contact the airline and ask them what their policy is for pets. Some airlines will allow small dogs to be a carry on as long as you have the proper airline carrier that is found in most pet stores.
You should also consider bringing along your pets food dishes, bed or pillow and a couple of its favorite toys. Having familiar items along for the trip can help ease the stress of traveling and make the trip more enjoyable for both you and your animal companion.