October 14 2008 by Matthew Clyde
Taking your pets on vacation is becoming more common with more pet friendly hotels and travel policies. Here are some tips and ideas to consider for pet travel.
On the Road - Pet Travel Tips
- Carefully plan your route. Schedule regular stops to give your pet water, food, a bathroom break and general exercise.
- Keep your pet secure in a safety harness or carrier while driving. Don't allow your pet in the front due to the risk of front passenger air-bags.
- Travel on the road with your pet's bed so they will feel more comfortable and at home.
- Don't leave your pet alone in the car especially during summer months. Any extreme weather, hot or cold can be dangerous to their health.
Airline - Pet Travel Tips
- Plan ahead. Airline pet travel policies vary and some only allow certain types of pets and brands of pet carriers.
- Understand the airlines health and immunization requirements. Most airlines require a health certificate usually signed 10 days prior to travel. Determine if you will be carrying your pet on-board or if they will be in the cargo hold. The size and type of pet will determine your options. Many airlines allow you to place your pet carrier on the floor underneath the seat in front of you.
- Select a good pet carrier that complies with the airline weight and size requirements. Purchase in advance so your pet is at least familiar with it.
- Map out your route. Nonstop or direct flights are strongly recommended - especially if placing your pet in cargo.
- Reserve a space for your pet first. Many airlines only allow two pets in the passenger cabin per flight.
- Upon arrival find a safe spot to give your pet relief from their cage. Airports are starting to set up pet walking zones. Carry extra clean up bags and a towels just in case an accident occurs.
- Note the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Human Society do not recommend giving tranquilizers to sedate your pet during travel.
- Research pet friendly hotels, campgrounds or other lodging options. Make sure you let management know in advance you are traveling with a pet. You can search for Pet Friendly hotels offered by Best Western using the Pets Allowed search feature.
- Plan activities while at your destination that include your pet; don't leave your pet locked up all day while sightseeing. Many hotels may restrict you from leaving the pet alone in the room for extended periods of time.
- Carry a current photograph of your pet. If your pet is lost during the trip, a photograph will make your search much easier.
- Bring your normal pet food brand and stick to the regular diet throughout your vacation.
- Travel with extra pet bowls, paper plates and clean up bags.
- Keep your vet's information with you in case you run into any health problems.
- Consider pet insurance to help cover any unexpected illnesses.
- Place your pet's identification information, including license number and your cell phone, inside the carrier. Also include a tag that includes your cell phone on the id collar your pet wears.