Taking Your Pets on Vacation

Planning for vacations can be difficult when Fido has his chin on your lap, begging desperately for attention. Who likes being left behind when the family goes on a trip after all? Traveling with our furry friends is easier now than it was in the past, as a lot of travel destinations and accommodations are becoming more pet-friendly to cater to the pet lovers among us.

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Traveling with your pets is a great way to bond. They’ll enjoy the privilege of being brought along, while you get to rest easy knowing that they’re looked after by people who care for them the most — YOU!

What Vacation To Take

Not all vacations are created equal. Some trips are ideal for pets, some are near impossible. Do your research beforehand to find out if your planned vacation is pet-friendly. A vacation is an opportunity for you to unwind and take a break from the stress of work. If bringing your fur baby along is going to be stressful, find a petsitter to look after them instead. Pets close to us are usually attuned to what we’re feeling. If they sense that we’re stressed, chances are, they’ll feel stressed, too.

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Vacations you may want to consider are camping trips. Camping allows them to connect with nature so it can be an interesting experience for them. But do note that most national parks don’t allow pets on their trails, so while you can camp with them, you’ll have to keep them in your accommodations when you go off exploring. Beach trips are also a great idea since they can cool off and practice their swimming skills. Just choose a beach that allows pets and don’t forget to pick up after them.

Theme parks can also be fun for pets. While they can’t go on rides, just enjoying the place walking by your side can be a novel experience. Just remember to have a companion who can look after your pet while you ride. If your pet is easily rattled by crowds, you can use a pet carrier instead of a leash so they can stay comfortably huddled in your company.

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Some vacations are inherently difficult for bringing pets along. Cruise ships usually don’t allow pets, except for service dogs, on board. Trips that require flying are not for every pet. Most airlines require that pets stay boarded up in the cargo hold and the experience might be frightening for some pets.

Important Reminders for Traveling with Pets

When traveling with pets, it’s important to remember that your pet acts differently with people she trusts and with strangers. Even the most well-behaved pet may react differently when thrust in a new environment, or when a well-meaning stranger invades her personal space. Keep her leashed at all times, not only for the protection of people around you, but to ensure that she doesn’t get lost or torn from your grasp.

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Always bring along her vaccination records, disposal bags to pick up her poop in case she needs to go, water to ensure that she remains well hydrated, her favorite pet food, and treats. When staying overnight or longer, bring along a comfortable and familiar place where she can sleep and rest. It’s also a good idea to apply tick and flea repellant to ensure that she doesn’t pick up any bugs while you’re traveling. Call ahead when in doubt about a place’s pet policy, so you don’t have to ruin your plans when a place refuses to admit pets. Keep the number of a local vet handy, just in case she needs medical attention.

When traveling with pets, the important things are to research and be prepared, make sure your pet will be comfortable with your travel arrangements, and to be considerate to other guests. While you’re on vacation, so are the other guests, so being respectful of everyone’s needs will go a long way for everyone’s enjoyment.

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