Tips for Vacationing With Pets
When it’s time to take a family vacation, you need to decide what to do with your pets. There are several choices including boarding, having someone come to your house to take care of their needs, or taking them with you. All of these choices have pros and cons, so before you make your decision, weigh out carefully what is best for your family and your pet. Even though they’re part of your family, not all pets make good travel companions. If you decide to take your pets on vacation, we have several tips for vacationing with pets.
Learning proper etiquette for traveling with pets is important. Not only will others embrace the practice if they see a well-behaved dog, but your vacation will also be a lot more enjoyable if everyone is on their best behavior.
Here are some specific travel tips for vacationing with pets:
- Make sure you book your stay at a pet-friendly hotel. Do this in advance to prevent unpleasant surprises while you’re traveling. Also, be sure to ask about pet policies and find out of any deposits are needed. If you don’t like the policy, look for another hotel that doesn’t charge extra.
- Before you go on vacation, have your animal treated for fleas and ticks to prevent an infestation in your car and the hotels where you stop.
- Before you go into any park, restaurant, or other venues, ask about their pet policy.
- Bring your own blankets to cover furniture that your pet may be on.
- Avoid leaving your animal alone in the room for extended periods of time. If you do this, why bother bringing him on vacation? You don’t want your dog to start barking and annoy other vacationers or business travelers.
- Don’t allow your dog to jump on other people. This can frighten children and disrupt other people’s vacations.
- Have plenty of toys to entertain your pet so he doesn’t chew on the furniture or other items belonging to the hotel.
- Walk your dog in areas that are designated specifically for that. Pick up after him and dispose of the waste in a responsible manner.
- If you bring your cat, keep the litter pan clean to prevent smells from wafting down the hall and into other rooms.
- Keep your animal restrained at all times when you are out of your room.
- Take your dog out right before bedtime and when he first gets up so he can relieve himself. You want to do everything possible to prevent accidents in the hotel room.
Taking your animals on vacation comes with an extra set of responsibilities. Have your pet checked by his vet to ensure he’s healthy enough to travel. Make sure all of his vaccinations are up to date and keep his health record with you in case you are asked for it during your trip.
Before you take your family pet on a car trip, take a look at these tips:
- Get your dog or cat used to riding in the car. Start out with short trips and then extend them for longer periods of time.
- Take your pet around other people if he isn’t used to strangers. Observe him and reward him for good behavior.
- Have a safe place for your family pet to ride. This may be a doggie car seat, a travel crate, or a special harness. If you don’t already have something, discuss options with your veterinarian or dog trainer.
- Don’t allow your animals to ride in your lap or with their head sticking out of the window. This is dangerous and can cause injury to your pet.
- Make sure your pet has a collar with contact information in case he gets separated from you.
- Have plenty of drinkable water available. Look into getting a drip bottle that is activated by the animal’s tongue. Stop often to fill a water bowl to keep him from becoming dehydrated.
- Make frequent stops to let your pet relieve himself.
Something else you will need to consider is how your pet might affect other people who are vacationing in the same place. If your dog consistently growls at strangers or isn’t used to being in strange places, he’s probably not a good candidate for a family vacation. Or if your cat often misses the litter pan or scratches everything in sight, other people will have to deal with the fallout.