Pet Friendly Vacations: The 25 Best Cities to Visit With Your Dog
How to Have a Pet Friendly Vacation
Taking your pet with you on vacation is becoming more popular. We all love our pets and many of us can't really enjoy our vacation unless our beloved pet is with us. By planning ahead for your travel arrangements and being mindful to include activities your pet will also enjoy, you can make your vacation more pet friendly.
Preparing Your Pet for the Trip
Take your pet to the vet for a checkup before you go.You need to be sure your pet can handle the stresses of your vacation trip. Your animal companion will be experiencing changes to its routine as well as the physical challenges of traveling, so you need to verify with your vet that your pet is up for it before you go.
- This is especially important if you plan on taking your pet on a long trip.
Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are current.While you are at the vet, get your pet's vaccinations up to date. It's a good idea to have a current health certificate to take along with you. This is more important if you are traveling internationally.
- If you are traveling between the US and Canada, you will need a copy of your pet's rabies certificate.
- If your pet is due for rabies vaccination within six months of your trip, discuss early re-vaccination with your vet in order to avoid potential issues with customs officials.
Equip your pet with a collar that has an ID tag attached.The risk of your pet getting lost increases while traveling and this collar could save you both a lot of grief. Make sure the ID tag has your phone number listed on it.
- Consider adding the contact information for a friend or family member back home. Should you and your pet be separated, having this information may make the difference between your pet being lost and you and your pet being reunited quickly.
Making the Necessary Arrangements
Check with your airline, if you are flying with your pet, for their rules.Each airline is different. Don't assume anything. Some will let your pet, if it is small enough, ride in a carrier under your seat. But if it has to ride in the cargo hold, you will need to take proper precautions for your pet’s safety.
- You’ll need to make sure you have a carrier for your pet that meets airline regulations regarding size and weight whether you take your pet in the cabin with you or put them in the cargo hold.
Secure your pet in the car.If travelling by car, be sure to secure your pet during the trip. This is for everyone's safety. Animals are unpredictable and a pet that is free to roam an automobile is a high risk of causing an accident or escaping from the vehicle.
- This means strapping your dog into the seat with the seatbelt by its harness or securing your cat’s carrier with a seatbelt.
Make sure your hotel allows pets.If you are staying a hotel or some other kind of overnight resort, you’ll need to make sure they allow pets. Call ahead of time to check that the place you’re staying will allow you to bring your pet.
- There are also some online resources that provide listings of pet friendly hotels.
Have vet information on hand.Bring along the phone number of your local vet and any health records you have. If anything happens, you’ll probably need to know what vaccinations and shots your pet has already had.
- You should also try to find out the number ahead of time for a vet or animal hospital near your vacation destination in case of an emergency.
Ensuring Your Pet’s Comfort
Remember to bring all of your pet supplies.You’ll obviously need to care for your pet while they are on vacation with you. Bring all of the necessities with you. This includes food, water, food and water dishes, treats, your pet’s bed (if they need one), harness, leash, and any necessary medications.
- If you are going on a long trip, bring enough pet food to last a couple of days in your luggage. That will give you enough time to find a pet store in your vacation destination to buy a larger supply. And then you won’t have to haul a big bag with you, especially if you are flying.
- If you are traveling with a cat, remember that it will need a litter box as soon as you reach your new destination. Bring a small, disposable baking dish in your luggage and a small bag of cat litter. You can use this as a makeshift litter box for a day or so while you look for a pet store when you arrive.
Bring some toys for your pet.Bring a couple of your pet’s favorite toys with you so they will feel more at home at the new place and also have something to entertain themselves with, especially when you are gone. This will help your pet settle in more quickly.
- Bring a chew toy or a rope toy that you can use to play with your dog. Or bring a little catnip toy for your cat.
Spend time with your pet.The stress of traveling can be difficult for your pet to deal with, so try to spend as much time with them as possible while you are on your trip. This will comfort your pet and reassure them that everything is okay. Spending time with your pet will help them feel safe and secure in their new surroundings.
Choose pet friendly activities.If you’re taking your pet with you on a trip, you don’t want to just leave them in the hotel the entire time. Your pet will likely be unhappy if it is left alone in a strange place all day long while you’re out enjoying your vacation.
- Try to plan activities that your pet can participate in – like going to the beach, hiking, or taking a stroll through town.
Video: We Who Travel: The Ultimate Pet Vacation
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