Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
AAahhhh yes, the family vacation. A time to get away and relax and unwind with friends and family… but what about your pets? Do they come along with you? Do you find somewhere to board them? Will it be a true family vacation if you don’t have Fido and Fluffy along for the festivities?
As we wrap up #PetSafety month we offer these tips when taking your pet on a family vacation:
- Make certain the vacation is truly pet-friendly. If you’re going to be whitewater rafting and spending the nights sleeping on the banks of the river you’re rafting down this isn’t likely a pet-friendly vacation. If you want to include your pets make certain it is feasible and also before you make any final reservations, find out what the locations’ pet policy is. You don’t want to get to your destination only to find out they don’t accept pets and you have to make a frantic decision on whether you will stay there and board your pet or look for a more pet-friendly option and potentially lose out on any deposits you’ve paid. When you check into your hotel, make sure you ask the staff where your pet should be taken to relieve himself and if there are restricted areas within the hotel that you need to be aware of.
- Is your pet well-behaved enough for a getaway? Be honest. If your pet barks at every single noise and can’t get along with people or other animals you may encounter, he may not be ready for a family vacation. You have to consider the feelings of those in the hotel rooms next to you and if Fifi is going to bark all night, you will not be a very good neighbor. The best way to get your pet travel-ready is to start when she is young. Get her accustomed to a car, to being around strangers and to interacting nicely with other pets.
- If you’re taking a road trip, you need to make sure your pet is securely fastened into a pet seat belt or safety harness. She may travel better if she’s in the safety of her crate – which has been secured into the seatbelt. There are also barriers you can purchase that allow your pet to move around in the back end of the vehicle, but you need to decide if you feel safe enough to have him walking around and not being secured into a harness – personally, I only let Henrietta the diva poodle travel in the car with me if she is in her harness and strapped into a seatbelt.
- What happens if your pet gets spooked while in an unfamiliar location and bolts? How will you find him? Microchipping – and making certain the information is up to date could be critical in getting him back. Don’t let your pet out of the vehicle without an ID tag attached to his collar, even if he is microchipped. There is the possibility that whomever finds your pet may not have access to a microchip reader and the ID tag could help to reunite you. Make sure the ID tag has your pet’s name, your name and your cell phone number. Also, before you leave home, take a photo of your pet and then take a photo of you and your pet in the event you have to prove ownership.
- Depending on where you will be traveling, you will want to ask your vet if he or she feels there is a need for any vaccinations before you depart. Also, ask your vet for a print out of your pets’ up to date vaccination records and keep that with you in the event you need to have an emergency veterinarian visit while away you know exactly what your pet has been vaccinated for.
- If you need to leave your pet in the hotel room, make sure the front desk knows. Put up a do not disturb sign. You may also want to crate your pet so she feels safer in the unfamiliar surroundings.
- Don’t forget to bring your pet’s regular food and it might even be wise to bring bottled water for her to drink. A vacation in an unfamiliar location coupled with different food or water could bring on a bout of sickness you don’t want to deal with when you’re away from home. Also, remember to bring your pet’s favorite toys and blankets so she has something that has familiar scents.
How often do you travel with your pets? Do you have a favorite pet-friendly spot you frequent? What other pet-friendly and pet safe vacation tips do you have?
(Photo: Shutterstock dogs in suitcase)