Traveling with your pets during the holidays is a unique challenge. These tips will help you avoid the five most common pitfalls.
This is a wonderful time of year! Distant friends and families will reunite to reconnect, celebrate traditions and enjoy each other’s company. And millions of pets traveling with their families. So how do you avoid making mistakes when traveling with pets?
If you go down the road, simple mistakes can lead to disaster! Whether you are an experienced pet traveler or heading to your first pet-friendly adventure, these tips will ensure you a safe and happy journey.
Tips for avoiding mistakes when traveling with pets
1. Make your reservations early
Derailing before you even start would certainly be a crushing blow during the holidays! If you are traveling by plane, train or rental car, be sure to book early.
Be very clear that you are traveling with a pet. Airline pet policies vary when it comes to pet reservations, required documentation and prices. So make sure your I is dotted and your T is crossed.
Pet car rental policies also vary considerably. So get all the details in advance and document your conversation (including who you talked to) in case there are any questions later.
Then think carefully about where you will stay during your vacation. Camping on someone’s couch may be an option. But is your host excited that your dog or cat will stay too?
Reserving accommodation suitable for pets gives you a comfortable and quiet place to relax – a break from the holiday chaos. It may be the best gift you give yourself (and your pet) this holiday season.
READ MORE ⇒ Hotels where pets stay for free
2. Manners matter
Nothing stops your day faster than knowing that your pet’s behavior is stressful. If your puppy can’t stop rummaging through the trash, barking or jumping on children, your time will be spent trying to keep him out of trouble instead of enjoying family and friends.
Set your pet up for success – and impress your hosts – by honing their basic obedience skills before you go!
READ MORE ⇒ Train your dog to travel
3. Get on the road
More vehicles on the roads during the holidays lead to more car accidents. For his and your safety, it is important that your pet is properly secured in a carrier, crate, or seat belt while driving.
Start acclimatizing your pet to his carrier or harness long before his trip to ensure that the ride goes smoothly.
READ MORE ⇒ The best crash tested dog seat belts
4. Avoid spoiling
With all the eating, drinking and fun, pets often eat things they shouldn’t have during the holidays. Chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts, alcohol and other foods are dangerous for your dog. And who wants to spend the holidays at the emergency vet ?!
To avoid gastrointestinal problems, it is safest to stick to your pet’s normal food and treats.
Even when you are careful, pets still manage to get into things that can make them sick. In this case, bring your pet’s veterinary files with you to help treat any illness or injury.
But instead of pulling a large file, make a paper copy of the latest vaccination records and scan the rest of the documents on an easy-to-pack USB device.
READ MORE ⇒ What you need to know about emergency veterinarians (before you need one)
5. Lost and found
It’s scary to think about, but it only takes a split second for a pet to pull out its leash or jump out the door and get lost. Remind guests who are not used to having pets to be careful when entering and leaving the house. And put a phone number you can contact while traveling on your pet’s identity tags.
It is also a good idea to make your pet a microchip before your trip. And bring an up-to-date photo in case you need to make posters.
Follow these simple steps and you will avoid the most common mistakes when traveling with pets. We hope your trip went smoothly!
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