4 Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

4 Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

Summer is a wonderful time to pack a bag and set out on an adventure by yourself or with a loved one. For many people, their go-to travel buddy is their dog, cat, or other beloved pet. Whether you’re flying or taking a road trip to a fun destination with your furry friend, planning a trip involving your pet requires research and preparation to ensure your animal gets the care it needs during your vacation. Continue reading to learn four tips for traveling with your pet.

A brown dog in a carrier on a train with his owner

Secure Your Pet

If traveling with your pet conjures up images of them riding shotgun with their head hanging out the window and ears flapping in the wind, you might want to rethink that idea. One of the most important aspects of traveling with your pet is making sure they are safely secured in a carrier or on a special harness, depending on their size.

Securing your pet will keep both of you safe by preventing driver distraction, injuries, and the chance of escape if an accident occurs. Also, make sure that your pet has a collar and ID tag with your name and phone number so people can contact you in case they are temporarily separated from you during the vacation.

Make Frequent Stops

Traveling requires intermittent stops to use the bathroom, stretch your legs, and drink water, and the same goes for your pet. Before you leave for your vacation, map out pet-friendly rest stops with lots of space for your pet to burn off extra energy, and be sure to bring along some food, a water bowl, and a waste scoop. If you have a dog, pack extra doggy bags in case there are not any available at the rest stop to keep the area clean for other guests.

Most importantly, never leave your pet alone in the car – even for a few minutes with the window open. Your car can overheat or freeze faster than you think and endanger your pet’s life. If you are traveling alone with your pet, plan out locations that allow your pet to come with you.

Follow the Rules

Airlines, trains, hotels, and other travel accommodations have special rules regarding pets, so it’s important to do your research beforehand so you know what equipment and documents to bring, if applicable. For example, if you plan on flying with your pet, you may have to pre-arrange your travel with the airline, as they typically regulate how many and what size pets can travel in the cabin.

You may also have to show a health certificate and proof of vaccinations and potentially purchase a pet carrier in a specific size with soft sides. Check with your airline or hotel for the exact rules and potential pet fees.

A veterinarian and vet assistant examine a white Boxer dog in a pet clinic

Keep Pets Relaxed and Protected

Travel can be stressful for some pets, especially if they associate car rides with trips to the vet. This may require calming medications to keep them calm and comfortable if they suffer from travel anxiety and carsickness. You may also want to schedule an appointment with our team to assess your pet’s needs and determine what medications they should take, if any. We can also confirm that they are up to date on their vaccinations and heartworm, flea, and tick medications.

If you will be traveling with your pet soon, we would be happy to help you with any questions to ensure your vacation is enjoyable for everyone involved! Contact us today at 701-757-3500.