Tips for Traveling With Your Pets

Tips for Traveling With Your Pets

Every pet parent knows that even the greatest vacation is made better when you have your adorable fur babies with you. Your pets are your heart and it is natural to want them to be part of your wonderful holiday memories.

All good pet vacations start with careful planning.

The first step to a great pet-friendly vacation is understanding your pet.

Make sure your precious animal is up for the trip. If you have a pet that can be prone to anxiety it might be better to leave them at home. This is also true for an elderly pet who might not be up to the journey.

Even if your pet is ready to go, a check-up to with the vet is always a good idea.

Make sure you include your pet in every aspect of your travel arrangements.

The American Veterinary Medical Association suggest you contact the following before beginning any type of travel with your pet:

  • Your veterinarian
  • The airline or travel company
  • The accommodations: hotel, motel, park, camping ground or marina
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal & Plant Inspection Service, Veterinary Services: or 800-545-USDA (8732) and press #2 for State Regulations
  • Foreign Consulate or Regulatory Agency (if traveling to another country)
  • If you are traveling to another country (or even Hawaii), there may be quarantine or other health requirements
  • If traveling out of the continental United States, you should contact these agencies at least 4 weeks in advance

A prepared vacationer is always a smart vacationer particularly when it comes to your pets.

Plan how you are going to travel and how it will affect your pets.

If your pet is going to be in an enclosed area for a long period of time it is important that they are thoroughly exercised beforehand.

Make sure your pet has time to use the bathroom.

If you have gotten a new crate, make sure that your pet has time to get accustomed to it.

If you are traveling by plane:

Check with airlines because they may have restrictions on breed and size.

  • Most airlines also require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) issued within 10 days of travel.
  • Federal regulations require pets to be at least 8 weeks old and they should be weaned at least 5 days before flying.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about feeding schedules. It is usually recommended that pets fly on an empty or nearly empty stomach. The pet’s age, dietary needs and size, and the time and distance of the flight should all be taken into consideration.

If you are traveling by boat:

              Provide a ramp for your pet to easily get on and off the boat, or carry your pet on and off the boat.

  • Call ahead to make sure the marina or park is pet-friendly.

If you are planning to go on a cruise:

  • For public boats, check with the boating company to find out their requirements and restrictions.
  • Most boating companies will require you to provide a regulation carrier and a leash for dogs.
  • You will also need a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) and possibly a travel form, depending on the areas that you will be visiting.

If you are traveling by automobile:

           Make frequent stops (about every 2-3 hours) to allow your pet to go to the bathroom and get some exercise.

  • Properly restrain your pet in the car to prevent injury to your pets, you and to other drivers.
  • Do not let your pet ride in the back of a truck. If your pet must ride in the truck bed, they should be confined in a protective kennel that is secured to the truck to prevent injury.
  • Pets should not be allowed to ride with their heads outside the window. Dirt and other debris can enter their eyes, ears, and nose and cause injury or infection.
  • Pets should not be allowed to ride on the driver’s lap or near the driver’s feet. Small pets should be confined in crates or in travel-safe dog beds, and larger pets should be appropriately restrained with harnesses attached to the car’s seat belts.
  • Cats should be transported in carriers.
  • Providing a familiar blanket and/or safe toy can help make your pet more comfortable during the trip.
  • Properly restrain your pet when traveling in cars or other vehicles, and never leave your pet in your vehicle without you.

No matter what your method of travel you want to make sure your fur baby is safe, comfortable, and ready for adventure.

Make sure your destination is pet-friendly.

It is always important that you check ahead to your destination to make sure that they can accommodate your pet. They might have size and breed restrictions or they may want you to present them with certain certificates. Make sure that your pet is welcome and comfortable at your vacation spot. The needs of a cat/dog are much different than those of a hamster or rabbit. The latter can usually be happy in a small cage.

There are also websites that can help you find hotels that allow pets.

Here is a list of great pet-friendly places for dogs:

  • Sanibel Island, Florida
  • Golden Isles, Georgia
  • Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • Asbury Park, New Jersey
  • Block Island, Rhode Island
  • Stowe, Vermont

Turn your knowledge into a great side business

Having your faithful family pet with you on vacation will add great joy to the experience as long as you prepare properly. You might actually become quite an expert on how to travel with a pet. You can turn this expertise into a profitable side venture by operating your own travel agency business with a focus on pet-centered vacations. Contact and learn how you can help others have great pet-oriented vacations and earn yourself a tidy profit in the bargain. There is great joy in helping people create memories they will treasure forever with their beloved pets who are an important part of the family. This knowledge is very useful and can also lead to a profitable new career.

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