Tips for Traveling With Your Pets
- Keep pet travel essentials in your vehicle. A good must-have list includes a water bowl, bottled water, extra leash and collar with identification tags, poop bags, an old towel, pre-moistened wipes, a basic first-aid kit, necessary medications, a copy of health records, bedding, treats, one or two favorite toys and at least a 3-day supply of food inside resealable plastic bags or containers.
- If you are traveling by yourself, take a break every couple of hours and check if your pets need a bathroom break or water. Leave an hour or two before the morning rush hour.
- Book hotel stays in advance by using pet-friendly websites like BringFido.com and GoPetFriendly.com. Be sure to call the hotel directly, too. You may save a bit by booking direct.
- Do not allow your dog to ride in the front passenger seat or in your lap or allow him to stick his head out the window. An unrestrained 60-pound dog becomes a 2,700-pound projectile in a sudden stop or an accident at 35 miles per hour. Depending on the size of your dog, fit him in a pet safety harness securely clipped into a seatbelt in the middle seats or place him inside well ventilated pet carriers, also fastened in place.
- Nothing takes the fun out of a vacation like an unexpected expense or injury. Treating a broken leg can cost $2,000 to $5,000. Pet insurance helps you prepare for the unexpected.
- Try to dine at pet-permitting restaurants and outdoor cafes during off peak times, such as mid-morning or late afternoon. Weekdays are usually quieter than weekends. Be sure to have exercised your dog with a brisk 30-minute walk before dining to help calm him down. Request a table in an out-of-the-way corner. Tether your dog’s six-foot or four-foot leash securely under one of your chair legs to keep him from disturbing other diners.
- Set a good example for the next person traveling with his or her pet. Have your dog be in a sit-stay when you check in at the front desk. Abide by the pet rules and always leave a generous tip for the housekeeping staff – especially if you have a shedding dog. These gestures create a positive impression that will benefit other pet lovers.
- Keep your smart phone and camera fully charged so you can share your tail-wagging adventures with your pet-loving pals on Facebook, your blog and other social media outlets. Check for dog friendly places for your next road trip!