When travelling with a pet, especially for the first time, there is no such thing as being too prepared.
Before venturing off on a week-long vacation with your pet in tow try taking shorter day trips as a trial run. Spend the day having new adventures away from your home and anywhere familiar to your pet. Take note of how long it takes your pet to adapt to their surroundings, and what brings them comfort.
Try putting your pet in their travel carrier every once in a while so they begin to associate it with more than just a trip to the vet. Stay nearby and use treats to reinforce this as a positive experience.
Planning to sleep under the stars with your pup this summer? Camping can be a lot of fun with a dog, with lots of new smells and sounds to explore. Try camping out in your backyard, or even in the living room, to get your pup used to life inside a tent. If your dog gets spooked by the sounds of a zipper being opened, it's helpful to find that out in a secure location.
Read these helpful tips to help ensure smooth travelling with your pet:
• Road trips - Take regular breaks along the way that allow time for a bathroom break as well as playtime. Let your pet work off some energy every few hours to allow a calmer car ride. When the car is moving your pet should be kept secure at all times. Seat belts aren't just for humans anymore!
• Air travel - Make arrangements early! Some flight only allow a small number of pets per flight. You should also read all the fine print and understand the rules completely. Some pets will be allowed to ride in the cabin with you, but each airline will have different restrictions and guidelines. Did you know that some airlines will restrict pets from flights depending on the weather? Don't assume what was allowed in the past will be the case each time. If possible, choose a direct flight to make the experience easier on your pet.
• Hotels - There are many helpful travel websites that will list all pet-friendly hotels in your travel destination. Even so, it is best to call to speak with a staff member well in advance to get all the details. Will there be extra charges? Are there any specific rules to be aware of? Is there a cleaning deposit? The sooner you are aware of the hotel's pet policies the more prepared you will be. Many hotels do not allow your pet to be left alone in the room, so you will want to research pet-friendly attractions in the area. You may be surprised to find a place to visit that both you and your pooch can enjoy!
Things to pack:
Regardless of where you're going and how long you're staying, one of the most important things you can do for your pet is to have them microchipped and keep your contact information on file up to date. If your pet is microchipped with 24PetWatch you can check on the status of your account here. You may also want to consider getting a second ID tag for your pet that has information for where you will be staying and how you can be reached for the duration of your vacation.
Planning ahead can make all the difference in the vacation experience for you and your pet.
Safe and happy travels!