Trips and vacations are always an exciting time, and it is even better if we can share that with our pets! We have some tips to help make the trip go smoother so everyone can enjoy it better.
Always start off by ensuring you have a good plan for vacationing with your pet. Think about where you are going to go. Try to find an area that is pet friendly, with things for you and your pets to do together. Ensure that you verify that your lodging is pet friendly and if there are any restrictions (even if you are staying with family or friends). Ensure as well that you know where the nearest emergency vet is to where you are staying. Hopefully you don’t need that information, but you will be happy to have it if you do. Plan your route accordingly, including places to stop and potty if your pets need it or stretch their legs.
In planning your route, ensure you take into account what type of transport you are going to take. If you are flying, ensure your pet is allowed, and equipped with the right temperament and training to handle all of the stressors that go into flying, including the busy airport terminal and stress that you yourself may be feeling.
One of the important steps that people forget about is training your pets to ride nicely in the car. Ensure that they are safely contained so that they aren’t trying to crawl into your lap for snuggles on the ride. There are many options out there, such as pet carriers or crates, SUV hatch barriers, and dog seat belts and harnesses. No matter which option you choose, remember to take time to acclimate your pet to it, and take several short drives once they are used to it so they know what to expect when they get into the car. Know your pet as well, and understand that if they may be stressed for the trip, there is always an opportunity for you to have a conversation with your vet and see if there are any medications that may be helpful for them to have a more comfortable drive.
Remember to pack some essentials as well. Pet mess cleaner should always be brought along. Even if your pet never has accidents at home, it is easy for them to become stressed in a new environment or even find something that makes their stomachs upset. It is better to have a small bottle on hand instead of scrambling to make do. If you are staying at a hotel or airbnb, it is a good idea to bring along some blankets or spare sheets to cover furniture that your pet may sit on. This will help to keep fur from becoming embedded in the furniture which can be hard to clean out. Bring poop bags, extra food, harnesses and collars with extra information, tie outs and kennels, and having access to your vet records. If you will be staying in a hotel, plan on using a fan or play some music to help them ignore all the sounds of the hotel. Consider also if your pet is a “door dasher”, you can bring a baby gate or xpen to help keep them inside and away from the door.
Once you have the plans all in place and the car packed, it is time to relax and enjoy the trip!