Holiday traveling with a pet – tips for easy trips

Cat in suitcase - holiday pet travelMillions of pet owners will take to the road and sky during this holiday season. Your vacation will be so much more meaningful if your pet accompanies you. If you have a cat, start when it is young, otherwise it will most likely not enjoy traveling. As for dogs, most all enjoy a good adventure as long as they are by your side.

Consider your pet’s personality. If it is not accustomed to being away from home, aggressive, skiddish, very nervous or has medical needs that require frequent attention, consider having a friend or family member care for it at home.

Here is a simple list of things you need to remember to do if you are traveling with a pet:

  • Puppies, kittens and senior pets need a visit to the vet to be sure they are fit to travel.
  • Bring your pet’s health records along. Could come in handy in an emergency.
  • Get your pet acclimated to its crate or carrier months ahead of travel time.
  • If flying, book the flight on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday as these are lighter travel days.
  • Know your airline’s pet policy and don’t try to get around it. You may have to eat the price of your ticket when you are not allowed to board.
  • Bring harness or crate to assure your dog or cat is safe in the car. Use pet pads for accidents.
  • Feed your pet lightly the day of travel and no sooner than 4 hours ahead of time. Keep them hydrated during the trip.
  • Never leave them unattended, either in the car or at the airport.
  • Leave early and take your time. When in the car, stop frequently for walks. When heading to the airport, get to the ticket counter early in case the check-in lines are long.
  • If you are traveling internationally, know your destination country’s pet import rules.
  • Bring supplies – leashes, treats, pick-up bags, medicines, dog or cat food.
  • Contact a pet friendly hotel should you need one and talk to them about their pet policies.
  • Bring pet towels for easy clean up.

Once arriving at your destination, enjoy a long walk and a good meal. Be sure and let your pet get accustomed to its new surroundings before you leave them for any reason.


Holiday traveling with a pet – tips for easy trips — 7 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing such great post about cats. The social adaptations of pets and humans are similar enough that cats can live perfectly happy lives surrounded by humans and vice versa. Dogs are pampered with the best of food and medical care, frequently sleeping in their owners’ comfortable beds.

  2. Diana – you know your dog better than anyone. Although we may feel it is confining, many dogs prefer not to guard the entire house but only the area in their crate. If this is what your pup is accustomed to, then it is a good idea, especially as it will be in strange surroundings.

  3. We’ll be traveling from NY to LA for Christmas (total of 9 days) and are trying to plan ahead for how to set him up at my parents’ house where we will be staying. At home he sleeps in a crate, which is attached to a pen. During the day he’ll sleep in the crate and is free to roam within the pen (though not freely throughout the apartment). Is it best to have my parents buy a crate for their house? Any suggestions welcome!

  4. Great post! It’s quite helpful and I definitely got some good ideas for traveling with my cat. I’m moving to Canada for a short time and I’m taking Shadow with me. It’s her first big adventure and I’m trying to make everything easier for her. I’m used to move people’s stuff, homes and even pets, but my own – it’s a problem. Thank you for the advises! Greets, Vanessa

  5. Certainly we have to make sure that our pets in good shape and enough stamina before going traveling.

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