Traveling with your pet
Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages
When making the decision to travel with your pets, there are many things to consider. Will you be able to find pet-friendly hotels? How about air travel? Use this guide to prepare your family for a pet-friendly vacation.
Picking a Hotel
Finding a place where you and your pet can get some rest may require a little bit of detective work depending on where you're going. Thankfully, there are many pet-friendly hotels across the country to choose from. Some even offer special amenities such as beds, treats and water bowls. To find out if a specific hotel is pet-friendly, call in advance, as pet regulations vary from hotel to hotel.

Once you're set with a place to stay, it's time to consider how you're going to get there. If traveling by air, federal regulations require the pet be older than 8 weeks old and have a recent health certificate and a valid rabies vaccination. When making your reservations, you should contact the airline about any specific pet travel rules and restrictions, such as an earlier arrival time, crate size allowed, animal tagging information and special fees.

If you're driving to your vacation location, make sure your pet has been in a car before. Pets who are not used to traveling by car can become nervous or anxious. We all know unhappy animals can make for an unpleasant journey.

Unfortunately, traveling by bus or train with your pet is not an option. Only service animals are permitted.

When preparing for your trip, there are a few things from home that will make the trip as enjoyable for them as it is for you.

  • Pack enough of your pets' favorite foods and treats to keep them satisfied during your journey. Water and food bowls are crucial too. Have you ever tried to get a dog to drink out of a paper cup? Not easy.
  • Don't forget their favorite toys. A play thing will help keep your pet occupied while you're trying to navigate.
  • Bring the contact information for your veterinarian in case any emergencies should arise.
  • When your pets are comfortable, they're happy, so remember to keep the same walking and feeding schedule as you do at home.


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