Step-to-Step Guide on Planning a Pet-Friendly Trip

You’ve been dreaming about it for quite a while, and it’s finally happened…you’re planning a pet-friendly road trip. To make sure your vacation comes off without a hitch, you need to prepare and plan properly. We’ve made it easy for you by gathering the tips that will help make your travel hassle-free and enjoyable.

1. Give it a test drive before taking pets on vacation

  • Take your pet on a long car drive to see how he reacts to this small trip.
  • Take your pet to a public place like a local dog park, pet-friendly store, cafe, or for a walk in busy communities. This will help you understand if your pet is well-behaved in public and whether he has developed “social skills”. If your dog barks at people and every new sound, it makes sense to try to break that habit before traveling. Barking dogs don’t make good travel partners.
  • Analyze how your pet behaves in non-standard situations. Does he feel stressed? Is he able to adjust to the new environment easily? This can help you find out ways to support your furry one. 

2. Research for pet-friendly accommodations and places

Nobody can guarantee you that you’ll be able to stay anywhere with your dog. Although quite a lot of places allow having your dog around, you cannot be sure where you can be refused to stay. Finding somewhere dog-friendly can make it even tougher, if you don’t know the city where you’re at. That’s why we recommend you start your research before your journey. It’s easy these days to find dog-friendly accommodation on the major booking platforms such as Airbnb, Hotels.com and Booking.com. Besides pet-friendly accommodations, you can also take notes on where you can eat, walk, and spend a fun time with your pet. 

3. Consider the type of transport you’re going to use

When making travel decisions, choose what is safest and most comfortable not only for you but also for your pet. 

Car Travel

First, prepare your vehicle. To travel with your pet by car, you’ll need to get it “pet ready” before you hit the road. The safest way for your pet to travel in the car is in crates, carriers, or car harnesses. Those have been anchored to vehicles using seat belts. Loose pets not only distract drivers but impose danger of being harmed. Driving with a dog on your lap is irresponsible. Never allow your pet to join you in the front seat, and keep your pet in the car’s back seat. If an airbag deploys while your pet is in the passenger seat, it might injure your pet.

If your pet is prone to car sickness or the occasional toilet bad luck, think carefully about what you might need to take. Anti-nausea drugs, waterproof seat covers, rubber floor mats can be a good investment. Before purchasing any treatment for pet’s car sickness, consult with your vet about the correct dose to give. 

To reduce your pet’s nausea, limit your pet’s food consumption before travel. Sugary candy seems to reduce sensations of nausea as well. Do not give your dogs chocolate candy or treats made with xylitol these can be toxic to them. 

Do not leave pets alone in the car. Temperatures can rise to dangerous levels in just minutes, so don’t put your dog at risk of heatstroke. 

Air Travel

Flight can be quite a stressful event for your pet, so it’s wise to check with your vet about your pet’s health condition and suitability for air travel. If the veterinarian approves your pet for air travel, then you can go with it. Unless your veterinarian has recommended it individually for your pet, sedatives, and tranquilizer for air travel are not recommended. Keep in mind, that sedative medicine is completely your responsibility. Airlines usually do not take responsibility for any consequences related to a sedated pet. 

Every airline has its own policies about traveling with pets. Before planning a flight, check all the details on the airline’s website.  When booking your flight, notify your airline you’ll be traveling with your pet. Make notes on what documents you might need. Some airlines request additional documentation such as rabies vaccination certificate, veterinary health form, etc. 

If your pet is small enough to fit in a carrier, you’ll be able to take your pet with you in-cabin. This may be the best bet for a safe, worry-free trip. It will cost you $125 on average each way on domestic flights. Larger pets must be sent as checked luggage or air cargo. The cost usually runs from $50 to $500. Pets up to approximately 75 pounds can travel as checked baggage when accompanied by a passenger. 

Emotional support animals, as well as service animals, may fly in the cabin at no charge. The documents confirming the individual’s disability and the necessity to have a pet around should be provided in advance of travel. Besides, customers can be requested to provide a veterinary health form documenting the health and vaccination records as well as a certificate that the animal has been trained to behave properly in public. 

4. Collect a medical kit

If your pet is on any medications or special food, make sure to take them with you. Carry your pet’s medications in their prescription containers and pack them in the emergency kit. It will be easier for you to find the right medication in case it is needed. If you anticipate needing a vet during your travels, for example, due to some pet’s chronic diseases, it makes sense to research local veterinarian clinics. 

5. Prepare a pet travel kit

Before you head out of your house, make sure you don’t forget the essentials! 

  • Pack enough food for the trip, with a little extra just in case. 
  • Take care of your pet being hydrated while traveling. Bring bottled water or water from your home’s tap. 
  • Make sure you take all the necessary documents (health certificate, photocopies of medical and vaccination records, copies of prescriptions for medications, pet insurance cards and policies). Keep these documents in a waterproof bag or folder.
  • Bring pet’s favorite things like a small collapsible bowl, soft toy, blanket, or pillow, treats, and dental chews. 

It’s so much fun sharing outdoor adventures with our furry ones on vacation. To make your travel as hassle-free as possible, spend time on planning. Preparation for a pet-friendly trip is the key. We hope these tips will help you with the planning and execution of your next pet-friendly trip when the time is right to leave your house that is

Important Note: Staying home is the single most important thing we can do to slow the spread of the COVID-19 and to protect those in our communities who are most vulnerable to it. Please, plan your travel, choose your travel destination, but consider traveling a bit later. There will be a better time for travel, we promise. But now, do not risk your health, your pet’s health and the health of other people.

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