Although the family cat or dog is often included in our December plans, traveling with a pet – especially during the holidays – can be challenging. After all, there’s no distracting Spot with a Gameboy or entertaining Fluffy with a Disney movie.
For some animals, traveling can create enough stress to result in digestive problems or even the risk of escape. That’s why understanding your pet’s ability to travel and undertaking the necessary prep work is critical to having a happy, pet-safe holiday.
Dashing With Doggie
If you’re a lucky owner with a canine who adores going places, you may just decide to pack up the pooch this season and hit the road. Why not? Some pets are excellent travel companions and house guests.
However, even when your pet is a seasoned pro, there are many considerations to keep in mind for pet travel.
Your host or choice of lodging – Determine how welcome your pet will be at your destination. If it isn’t possible to stay at the host’s home, book your lodging based on how pet-friendly it is and other considerations, such as availability of safe walking areas.
Means of transportation – Flying, although sometimes necessary, comes with many details. Talk to a pet travel agent if you plan to fly high with Fido. When traveling by car, make sure you have a carrier or harness that’s compatible with seat belts and plan for more frequent rest stops along the way (don’t forget plenty of fresh water).
Maintaining daily care – You will also need to bring all of your pet’s daily care items, including a crate or carrier, leash, collar, extra ID tags, food, treats, and grooming items.
Holiday Pet Boarding
As you may have noted, there are a number of things to consider when it comes to pet travel. Some owners decide that boarding is the safest, most comfortable option. However, don’t wait until the last minute to make a reservation; quality pet resorts fill up quickly.
Other Recommendations for Pet Travel
Whether your pet is a travel pro or is new to the journey, here are some other tips to make the experience a positive one:
- Make sure your pet is microchipped, parasite-free, and is up-to-date on his or her vaccinations
- Bring several challenging toys and games to keep your pet busy and on his or her best behavior
- Maintain consistency in regular meals and exercise times to avoid stomach upset and anxiety
- Practice perfect pet owner etiquette by keeping an eye on your pet at all times, keeping behavior in check, and picking up after him or her
Although pet travel can be tricky, there are many benefits to including your best fur friend in the holiday fun. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.