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A Travel Guide for Pet Owners

Posted on January 5, 2016

Taking a trip away from home is a wonderful experience for many people, and who better to share the experience with than your very best furry friend? Many cats and dogs have eagerly accompanied their owners on their travels, and with a little preparation, there’s no reason why your pet can’t tag along on the journey of a lifetime. Here are five ways to make travel safe and comfortable for both you and your tail-wagging, cold-nosed navigator!

1) Make sure your pet is welcome

Whether you’re road-tripping it to your Aunt Liza’s house or jet-setting to Europe, it’s always a good idea to ask your hosts if your pet will be welcome. Pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and campgrounds abound these days, but be sure to ask about each venue’s specific pet policies before you plan to include Fido or Fluffy.

2) Be ‘paw’-pared!

Life with pets can be fun, spontaneous, and often, completely unpredictable – which is why you should prepare for every foreseeable problem that may arise. Pack your kitty’s favorite canned food, and your dog’s preferred chew toy, as well as their own bedding and toys to help them feel comfortable in a strange place. Including portable food and water bowls, as well as a large supply of their own food (plus a few days extra) can help prevent tummy troubles on the road, and make sure that they’re identified with a durable collar or harness and up-to-date ID tags (a microchip is a great idea as well!). Keep the contact information for local emergency veterinarians on hand, and don’t forget to bring along your friend’s medical records and any prescription medication!

3) Check in with the vet

Make an appointment with your pet’s doctor for a full nose-to-tail examination, and discuss your travel plans with them; they’ll be able to let you know what your pet requires in terms of vaccination, parasite prevention against fleas, ticks and worms, and even health certificate requirements if you’re going to be travelling internationally. If your pet has issues with motion sickness, the vet may be able to prescribe medication to soothe your furry friend’s stomach during the trip.

4) Travel safe

Keep in mind that Fido or Fluffy is relying on you to keep them safe and happy, so take care to keep your pet safe at all times. Pets that are loose in a car are not only distracting, but they can be seriously injured in the case of an accident. It’s best to keep your furry friend secure with a pet seatbelt harness, or an anchored, comfortable crate while the car is moving. New places, sights or sounds may be scary or overwhelming too, so keep a secure collar or harness with leash attached your four-legged friend, since you never know when a pet might want to take their own impromptu trip!

5) Have fun!

Most of all, remember that both you and your pet should be having a great time. Remember to take lots of breaks for drinks, potty trips (or litter box visits), and don’t forget to enjoy the scenery. No matter where the road may lead you, with some extra preparation and planning, you’re sure to have a fantastic adventure with your best friend!