Are you planning a vacation with your furry best friend this summer? That’s a great idea, and they deserve a break from the mundane too! However, traveling with your furry friend doesn’t come easy. You might expect them to stick their heads out of the car’s window, frolic in the grass, and play with new friends, but it may not always be as dog-taste as you expect.
Pets can get anxious in new environments, which means a lot more preparation than packing an extra bag of kibble is required on your part.
Infographic Provided By Stay Better Vacations
Here are some tips to ensure your pet’s vacation is just as fun and relaxing as yours:
Be Careful with Your Hotel Bookings
Not all hotels are pet-friendly; the last thing you want is to be denied a room because of your animal companion. When searching for a place to relax, always check the pet policy before you book.
Some hotels charge extra fees for guests with pets, while others have weight or breed restrictions. Once you’ve found a hotel that works with your pet, call them to double-check the policy and make a reservation. Most importantly, never try to sneak your pet into a hotel – it’ll only end in tears (for both of you).
If you’re planning a more adventurous trip to places like the Smoky Mountains, there are plenty of pet-friendly cabins Pigeon Forge has that will let you and your animal buddy enjoy the great outdoors without any worry. However, remember that not all campsites are created equal. So, before you go off the grid, make sure to do your research and find a place that suits your needs and situation.
Understand Your Pet’s Travel Tolerance
Like people, some pets love to travel, and others do not. As a lover and a friend, you might assume that your Fido would love a long road trip just as much as they do a short drive to the grocery store. But, are you sure?
Active pets who are used to a lot of exercises may get antsy being confined to a car or hotel room. Conversely, more low-key pets might get overwhelmed by a lot of movement and new faces. Before you hit the road, consider your pet’s personality and activity level to better understand how they will react to a new environment.
It’ll save you the emotional turmoil of dealing with a pet who isn’t enjoying themselves. You can take a trial run by taking a few short car rides to different places around town. If your pet does well, you know they’re ready for a more extended trip.
Create a “Pet Travel Kit”
You know the essentials you need when packing your suitcase, but what about your pet? Traveling with a pet means bringing along all of their essentials too. It includes food, water, bowls, leash, toys, bedding, medications, and documentation.
If you’re flying with your pet, there are more things to consider. The TSA has a list of items you’ll need to bring to get your animal through airport security, including a kennel that meets their size requirements.
Packing all of these items might seem daunting, but there are plenty of pet travel products that can make your life easier. For instance, collapsible food and water bowls that are easy to stow away are perfect for light travelers. Or, you can get a travel kennel with wheels to make it easier to transport. And please check everything twice before leaving. Unlike you, your pet won’t easily “adjust” to a new place if they forget their favorite toy.
Ensure Your Pet’s Heath and Vaccine Dosage:
Yes, please! No one wants a messy vacation, so ensure your pet is healthy and up to date on all their shots. This one is strictly non-negotiable.
Many pet-friendly hotels will require proof of vaccinations before they allow your animal to stay, so be practical and keep this document handy. Additional vaccines may be required to cross borders if you’re planning an international trip. The best way to find out is to speak with your veterinarian well in advance about your trip. Some standard must-have shots for dogs include rabies, Bordetella, and parvovirus.
Cats are a bit different since they don’t go outside as much. The main shots they’ll need are rabies and feline leukemia. Of course, it is just a general guide – your vet will be able to tell you exactly what shots your pet needs.
Get Your Pet Used to Their Kennel or Carrier
Do you like it when your pet scratches your newly upholstered car seats or pukes in your handbag? No? We didn’t think so. So, to avoid having a pet-related disaster on vacation, start getting them used to their carrier or kennel well before your trip.
It may take some time, but eventually, your pet will see their carrier as a safe space – sort of like their bedroom. To help them get there, put their food and water bowls inside the carrier and leave it open for them to come in and out as they please. You can also put some of their favorite toys or treats inside to make it more appealing.
The key is to make the carrier as comfortable and inviting as possible so that your pet doesn’t associate it with being punished or left alone.
Make a Pit Stop
We all (humans) love road trips, with the wind blowing in our hair, the sun in our faces, and pit stops. Lots and lots of pit stops. But for your pet, a road trip can be a bit more stressful. They’re confined to a small space and might not have access to a bathroom whenever needed.
That’s why making plenty of pit stops along the way is essential, especially if you have a long drive ahead of you. Let your pet stretch and use the restroom as often as needed. For bigger breeds, sitting for too long can cause joint problems, so it’s important to let them move around as much as possible.
It’ll also save your car from any accidents. If you have time, play some fetch or let them run around for a bit – they’ll love it! And that’s precisely what you want on vacation – a happy, relaxed pet.
A vacation with a pet can be a lot of work, but it’s so worth it when you see that tail wagging with pure joy. It’s an excellent way to strengthen your bond, and you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. Just ensure you and your pet are fully prepared before heading out. Some tips never hurt anyone, whether it’s your first time traveling with a pet or you’re a pro. So, grab your bags, leashes, and ID tags, and prepare for the best vacation!