We are right on the tail of the holiday season, and for some this could mean that a trip is in the near future. Whether it’s by plane, train, or automobile, the holiday season marks one of the busiest times of year to travel. For many, a trip wouldn’t be the same without bringing our furry family members. Here are a few travel tips for you and your dog this holiday season.
Visit the Vet
Before heading out on your big adventure, make sure to have everything planned well ahead of time. Remember to make sure that your dog has had a recent checkup at the vet and that all vaccinations are up to date. If you are planning on flying, airlines require health certifications and proof of vaccinations.
Follow Airline Regulations
Before you fly, make sure you understand the rules in place for canine air travel. The last thing anyone would want is to get to the airport and have to make other arrangements for the family pet. Many small cats and dogs are allowed in the cabin; however there are strict policies in place. Chances are they will need to be in a carrier small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.
Be aware of all the risks before putting your pet through cargo. Pets can be injured or even killed in that area due to the excessive temperatures, rough handling, and other dangers. Planning ahead and having one or several conversations with the airline before you travel can alleviate these risks and make traveling much smoother.
Pack Proper Pet Identification
When traveling to a different destination, proper pet identification is extremely important. This includes checking tags and updating them as needed with your name, dog’s name, and phone number. Another option to consider is getting your dog microchipped and registered. This is a more permanent form of identification that can be very useful for pet owners if their dog were ever to go missing.
Prep For Road Trips
Plan on hitting the open road with the pup? Bring plenty of food and water in case the trip takes longer than expected and don’t forget the treats too! Dogs can be very stressed out during a long drive, so try to keep their feeding schedule as normal as possible. Put a doggy bed in the back or bring a favorite toy to help keep them occupied and alleviate anxiety.
The best thing to do is get your dog accustomed to the car as much as possible in advance. Learn about their habits. Do they prefer to be a shotgun rider, or do they get car sick? Knowing these things will make the ride that much smoother.
Use a Crate While Driving
The most secure and safe way for a dog to travel in the car is in a crate. These come in all different sizes and are a great way to keep you and your dog safe while driving. Try anchoring it to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure method.
Look For Dog-Friendly Hotels
If you are planning on staying at a hotel during your travels, make sure that the place is dog-friendly. Always call ahead or check online to be sure. Some pet-friendly hotel options to consider include Red Lion Hotels, Red Roof Inns, Aloft Hotels, Kimpton Hotels, Motel 6, and Affinia Hotels.
Always Have a Backup Plan
Always plan for the unexpected. It never hurts to have a backup plan in place. This includes reaching out to family and friends for a place to stay, bringing additional money along in case of emergency, and having extra dog food on hand in case you get stuck in a traffic jam.
By following these tips, you and your pup will have a stress-free trip this holiday season. Safe travels!