5 Tips for Traveling with Pets {Guest Post}

pet travel 5 Tips for Traveling with Pets {Guest Post}

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The key to traveling with pets is planning the trip in advance. There are a number of ways to ensure the trip goes smoothly. Nobody wants to take care of a sick dog on vacation. In addition, proper paperwork and planning can help to ensure success. Listed below are five tips to ensure stress-free travel with pets.

1. Schedule an Appointment With the Veterinarian

The first tip for stress-free traveling with pets is to visit the veterinarian. It’s important to schedule this visit within a week or two of travel. Most states require a health certificate and proof of vaccinations. This is a great time to get all of one’s paperwork ready. Front office staff members are happy to print current records. Potential environmental and travel safety issues should be discussed with one’s veterinarian. The veterinarian may have additional vaccine suggestions depending upon where the dog may be travelling.

2. Keep Important Paperwork in One Place

All of the pet’s important information and paperwork should be kept in one place. It may be necessary to purchase a brightly colored folder or binder just for this task. Many people will tuck this in a back seat pocket during a road trip. Air travelers will often keep this paperwork on them at all times. This ensures it is ready when an official needs to see it. Extra copies should also be made. If baggage is lost or stolen, there should be a back up set. Ultimately, it is important to keep the veterinarians phone number handy. If all else fails, the animal hospital receptionist can fax records to a distant location.

3. Practice First

Practicing is a great idea for pets who are not regular travelers. Some people may find the whole process is just too stressful. Deciding to leave a pet at home is sometimes the only option. If a family practices travelling first, they will have enough time to make other arrangements if they need to. A great way to practice is to take Fido for short trips. The experience should always be positive. It is also important to make sure one’s pet is comfortable eating and drinking while on the road. Some pets get very anxious during travel. They may have a hard time eating and drinking. This will also be a great way to determine if a pet needs any anti-nausea medicine. If nausea is a concern, bring it up during the veterinary appointment. Most veterinarians are happy to prescribe medicine to help make travelling with pets a little bit easier.

4. Pack a Bag for Fido

Pets need luggage too! There should be a bag just for the pet. Food bowls, food, medicine, toys and accessories can all be packed in this bag. The best way to pack kibble for travelling is in individual sandwich bags. Each meal can be divided into a different sandwich bag. Bags can even be labeled for quick and easy use. This alleviates the hassle of measuring out of a large bag of food. This is also a great way to make sure the bag isn’t too heavy. Nobody wants to lug around a big bag of dog food.

5. Have an Emergency Plan

Pets can be unpredictable. Travelers should always have an emergency plan. Being able to locate a veterinarian quickly can be a true life-saver. It is absolutely essential to have information on local animal hospitals when traveling. A few extra bottles of water can help if a car is broken down. Even a small case of dehydration should be addressed when travelling with pets. Proper planning can ensure the trip goes smoothly for everybody, even Fido.

Author Bio: Kevin Caldwell is a writer for San Francisco Hotel Guides who helps people find Fisherman’s Wharf hotels as well as hotels through out all of San Francisco. Kevin enjoys traveling and sharing his experiences with others. You can connect with Kevin on Google+ to read more of his work.


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What Others Have Said:

  1. Anna Memphis says:

    These are good rules to stick by, especially during prep for bigger trips like international moves.

  2. Kathleen Downes says:

    We’re planning a trip this summer to the coast and my dog has never traveled that far before. These are great tips to make it go a little smoother.

  3. This is great advice..we are traveling next weekend with our dog and I took notes from your post. Thank you!

  4. Practicing traveling with a pet is great advice. I didn’t realize that pets could get anxious and potentially create a dangerous and unhealthy travel experience. I guess just like tuning up a car before a road-trip, it’s important to make sure to have a vet appointment to check out health and maybe give the proper meds and advice before traveling to a unique environment!

  5. Those are good tips, if you must travel with a pet. It’s almost like taking a small child on a trip.They get restless and need to make stops.

  6. I wouldn’t travel with a pet unless it was totally needed. Usually, a neighbor can take care of it.

  7. sheri Garner says:

    great tips!

  8. Great tips IF they work for your pet..sadly, they don’t work for all (like us) and, I wish they did..we have to leave our baby home..it just was not safe for us to travel with her.

  9. Erika Sternberg says:

    These are good rules. to follow.

  10. leslie ross says:

    Already have all that stuff in the car since the day she came home with us, we are planning a long trip to visit my father in law. Our fur baby loves to ride in the car but she has not been on longer rides then two hours so I am planning to stop every two hours to let her potty and play with mommy cause mommy is driving the whole trip (daddy is not a good driver)

  11. Jennifer Heintz says:

    I travel by car with my two cats and have fond that the more they travel the less anxious they become. Thanks for the tips.

  12. Kimberly Williams says:

    Thanks for the tips. We have a small dog for the first time ever! I use to have only cats because you can leave them home alone for several days & you don’t have to worry about outside bathroom breaks and things like that! But we really love our little dog who is a rescue. Now that I am retired, I have the time a dog needs of his/her human!

  13. Thank you for sharing these important tips. I love traveling with my dog but never considered having his paperwork with me. I’ll be taking it along from now on…… great idea!

  14. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I’m sure this article will have been extremely helpful to those travelling with a pet for the first time. Another thing to plan into the schedule is regular stops so your pet can stretch it’s legs and do the necessary – maybe timed with a coffee break for you too.

  15. Great post. We have a huge pup, and sometimes it’s a challenge even thinking of traveling with her!

  16. Great tips! We take our lil guy everywhere possible that we can with us!

  17. Judy Schechter says:

    I enjoyed your informative post. Taking practice trips is a great idea which I’m definitely going to try!

  18. Sarah Vegetabile says:

    I have learned from past mistakes that traveling with my dog is just like traveling with a two year old. He gets anxious and antsy like a kid. So I have learned to pack his toys and his blanket to make the trips more barable for him.

  19. Mark Cook says:

    Thats a really nice dog in the photo, and great tips for travel pets.

  20. Heather Johnson says:

    Thank you so much for this article, it will come in handy when we travel with out pets

  21. Our westie has since passed, but he would not travel well no matter what we did. I remember one trip he lifted his leg on my daughters shoes (while she was wearing them) to “voice” his displeasure. He was a grumpy old man from the day he was born, but he was one of the family all those years and wouldn’t have traded him.

  22. I’m very lucky that my dog loves to travel…these tips will be helpful for our next trip that involves our cat though. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Toni West says:

    Thanks for the tips on traveling with your dog.

  24. Melissa George says:

    i loved all the tips and for me the most important tip is that one should Have an Emergency Plan incase if anything happens to the pet or stuck in a situation which is difficult to come out.

  25. Linda Manns Linneman says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips. We have two dogs so this information is helpful. Thank you for sharing

  26. laura rubenstein says:

    First I have to say that is one gorgeous husky! absolutely beautiful! Thanks for the great travel tips :)

  27. My dog loves to travel. He knows when we get out the suitcaseses that means he gets to go in the car!

  28. You have such great ideas, we usually just take her to the vet first…and then find a hotel that accepts pets

  29. Nancy Loring says:

    I have a puppy who loves to travel which is a good thing since we travel quite a bit. These were some good tips .I don’t have any of his paperwork in my car so I will make sure to do that.

  30. awesome tips, i’ve learnt alot :-

  31. We do a lot of traveling with our English bulldog & Boston Terrier, because after all, they are part of the family! These are great tips. We usually bring bottled water & blankets for our doggie duo.

  32. Alison Gibb says:

    Thsi is all great advice for pet owners. Traveling with pets can be great or difficult. My dog used to puke when he was in the car too long. UGH!