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7 Tips on How to Take a Vacation with Your Pet

Packing for a vacation or road trip always has a sad twinge to it when you know you have to leave your beloved dog or cat behind – so why not bring them along? Follow these 7 tips on how to plan a vacation with your pet so that you can unwind and relax with your furry friend.

While travelling with your pet might require a little more planning and a few extra considerations along the way, it is a delightful experience. Just make sure to check this list when planning, packing and travelling.

1. Speak to your vet before you begin planning your trip

Your vet is the expert in your dog or cat’s health, and so it is a good idea to consult them before you start planning your trip. If your vet foresees any issues with your pet’s health, they might recommend that you hire a house sitter or board them in a facility rather than bringing them along. Depending on your destination, even a healthy pet might require additional vaccines or a health certificate before you depart.

2. Choose your style of travel wisely

You know your pet better than anyone, and so only you can make the decision about which style of travel will suit their temperament best. Will, they only enjoy a road trip to a forested campsite, or can they handle a plane journey halfway around the world? Take a call.

3. Make sure they are comfortable in their carrier

If you are travelling in a car or by train, your pet might be comfortable sitting on your lap or in a soft-sided carrier or pet bed. However, if you are taking your pet on an aeroplane, each airline has specific rules about the carrier in which they must be transported.

While some airlines allow small dogs and cats to travel in the cabin in a soft carrier, on some airlines all pets must be transported in the cargo hold. Be sure that you look into the specific rules and regulations about the dimensions, weight, and materials mandated for pet carriers. Of course, if you are able to fly by private jet charter, the rules are much more relaxed, and your pet will likely be more comfortable and able to sit with you in the cabin in a seat of its own!

4. Make time for toilet and play breaks

If you are travelling in a car, make sure that you stop as often as possible to allow your pet to relieve themselves. Dogs, in particular, will benefit from stretching their legs and playing a few fun rounds of fetch. If you are travelling by plane, follow the specific toileting and feeding instructions provided to you before you check your pet into the flight. 

5. Remember to pack for your pet

When you are travelling with your pet, you need to pack a specific bag just for them. Here are some of the things you will need to pack when planning to take your dog (or cat) on vacation.

  • A leash and harness
  • Food and water dishes
  • Treats
  • An ample supply of food
  • Waste disposal bags
  • Toys 
  • Any medication that your pet takes
  • A brush and grooming supplies
  • A pet bed and blanket

6. Make sure your pet has an appropriate ID

While your pet should always have some kind of ID, this is especially important when you are on the road. A startled or disoriented animal is far more likely to bolt and run away, and the unthinkable can happen on busy streets or in airports.

Your dog or cat should have a chip implanted, and you should always update the information contained within your vet’s office. While you are travelling, ensure that your pet is kitted out with a collar and tag that contains your mobile number, just in case they do get lost.

7. Choose accommodation wisely

While the world is your oyster while you are on your own, when you are travelling with pets your accommodation options are more limited. Not every hotel or AirBnB allows dogs and cats to stay, so make sure you ask the following questions before booking your accommodation:

  • Will there be an additional pet fee?
  • Do they allow all breeds of dogs?
  • Do they charge a refundable cleaning deposit?
  • Are pets allowed to stay in the room on their own?

8. Most importantly, have a great time

While you do need to spend some extra time planning for a trip with your pets, this can be a magical experience that allows you to fully relax, knowing that your best friend is well looked after. Have a great time!


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