Every year, 3.2 million dogs and cats are adopted from shelters in the United States. In addition to adoptions from shelters, people also adopt pets from rescues or choose a pet from a breeder.
Many pet owners consider their pets part of their family, which is one reason you may want to bring your pet with you if you’re planning on traveling. There are also multiple benefits of choosing to travel with your pet, and with some careful planning, you can have a memorable trip with your pup or kitty.
What are the benefits of traveling with your pet?
You know your pet better than anyone. This means you can pick up on behavior that can indicate something is wrong if your pet isn’t feeling well. It also means you have a good idea to address issues your pet is having. When you leave your pet behind, you can opt to hire someone to stay with them or place them in a kennel. Although a regular pet sitter can be a good option, if your dog or cat stays in a kennel, they may be cared for by multiple staff who don’t know them well. These staff members aren’t equipped to recognize potential concerns or changes in your pet’s disposition or behavior.
When you bring your pet with you, you won’t have to worry about whether or not they’re receiving quality care. You will be able to look after your pet’s needs every day, which will reduce your stress while you’re traveling. If you’re distracted by concerns about your pet, you won’t be able to enjoy your trip thoroughly.
Pets are emotionally complex. Many pets suffer from separation anxiety, and it’s normal for them to experience stress when they’re in a different location. Your pet may even engage in harmful behaviors due to your absence. When you opt to travel with your pet, you can prevent medical issues caused by stress. Traveling with your pet is also a beautiful way to create memories that will last a lifetime. You may also have an opportunity to try different activities and learn more about your pet’s interests. For example, if you live far from the ocean, you might be surprised to discover your dog enjoys swimming when they’re let off of their leash and harness.
Traveling can be lonely, even if you’re on a dream vacation. When you’re in a different location, you’re in unfamiliar territory, and it can be nice to see a familiar face. Even if you’re with your family, you may have activities you want to pursue that they aren’t interested in, and they may also want to do some things you choose to skip. If your partner wants to go skydiving and you’d prefer to keep your feet on the ground, you can enjoy a hike with your pup or clip a leash on to your dog’s harness and take a walk at the park while your partner enjoys their adventures.
Sometimes, travel arrangements have to be adjusted due to circumstances that are outside our control. It may take you longer than anticipated to get home if you’re on a road trip and have mechanical issues or if you’re on a business trip that’s more complicated than you anticipated. If your pet sitter isn’t available to extend your pet’s care, they may need to locate another person to look after your pet. If you have your pet with you, you won’t need to worry about making last-minute arrangements or placing your pet in the care of a stranger.
Although it can cost more to stay in pet-friendly hotels, you may save money by traveling with your pet. Kennels and pet sitters charge daily fees, and they may charge extra fees based on specific requests you make. If your pet needs medication or extra exercise, the costs of pet care could escalate. You may also be able to avoid some extra expenses if you stay in a recreational vehicle while you’re on vacation.
What should you do to prepare your pet to travel?
Take some short road trips with your pet to determine if they’re comfortable with car rides. Some pets get carsick and may need medication to prevent them from vomiting. It’s a good idea to familiarize your pet with regular trips to reduce their stress while traveling. Dogs, cats, and other critters can be anxious when they’re loaded into a vehicle. If your pet is accustomed to leaving home for periods, they’ll be less likely to experience stress when you take a trip.
If you haven’t had your pet microchipped, get that done before you leave. Register the microchip to ensure that the information is on file. Microchipping helps ensure lost animals are reunited with their owners.
What things will you need for your trip?
During your trip, your pet will be exposed to different sites, sounds, and smells, so you should invest in a no pull harness for dogs before you depart. No-pull harnesses come in different sizes and different colors, ensuring that whether you have a small dog or a large dog, you’ll be able to find a harness that’s the right fit for your pup. This will prevent your dog from breaking loose and keep your dog from jumping on other people when you’re out for a walk. Dog harnesses are also safer for your pup because they don’t pull on the dog’s throat, which can cause nerve damage. Some no-pull harnesses have handles and reflective strips, which can make it easier to see and secure your puppy. Harnesses with a front clip will discourage your pooch from pulling. You can also attach a seat belt to your dog harness to secure your pup while driving.
You may want to pack a thunder-shirt as well. Thundershirts can reduce anxiety for dogs and cats. They securely wrap your pet in a way they find reassuring. Thundershirts may be effective at calming your pet during thunderstorms and fireworks or when they’re exposed to other loud sounds.
Pack a pet carrier. You may not need to use it, but a collapsible pet carrier is an excellent resource to have on hand. If your vehicle breaks down and you need to ride in another car, you’ll be able to secure your pet and bring them with you safely. You may also need to use a carrier if you’re traveling by bus or plane. Also, collapsible pet bowls are ideal for traveling. These silicon bowls pop up when you need to use them. They can hold water or dog food. After you feed your dog, they break down flat, ensuring they don’t take up much space.
It’s a good idea to pack your pet’s favorite food and bring it with you. You may not be able to purchase their usual food while you’re away, and changing your pet’s food can cause digestive issues. Make sure you pack the medications your pet needs and take them with you. You can avoid expensive vet visits during your trip if you stock up on their prescriptions before leaving.
You may need proof of vaccinations for your pet to cross an international border or use some services. For example, if you want to try using a doggie daycare during your vacation, they will want to see your pup’s veterinary paperwork. Make sure you have their rabies tag and identification tag and bring copies of their paperwork to prove they have their latest shots.
Pack comfortable jeggings. Jeggings come in multiple styles and colors and are easy to pack less likely to wrinkle than dress pants. It’s convenient to pull on a pair of jeggings when you need to take your pet outside or if you want to go for a walk with your dog. Jeggings are stretchy, which makes them ideal for traveling because you don’t have to worry about whether your clothes will fit if you gain a few pounds from eating out.
Where can you travel with your pet?
Whether you’re heading to Panama City Beach, a site for shore eyes, or another breathtaking holiday destination, it’s essential to know your pet will be welcome. Research your destination before you depart. Many communities include pet-friendly resources, such as pet-friendly motels, campgrounds, and restaurants.
Your destination may also have other community pet resources, such as dog parks and dog-friendly beaches. Whether you’re traveling with a rabbit, dog, or cat, there are even retail outlets that will let you bring your pet inside. With a little research, you can identify pet-friendly destinations to ensure you have a great vacation with your pet.