Summer Travel with Pets

As the leisure industry continues to put out the welcome mat for pets around the country, its easier than ever to travel with both dogs and cats instead of leaving them at home with a sitter or booking a reservation at a pet hotel. The AAA’s pet travel accommodation directory has more than 14,000 listings nationwide!

It’s important to make proper arrangements for pets that are traveling with you which means planning and booking in advance every step of the way.

If your vacation involves airline travel, there are several things to take into consideration. If it’s very hot, certain airlines may refuse to fly your pets, especially certain brachycephalic breeds (those with short noses). This applies to those traveling “cargo class.”

This is not the time to look for the cheapest air ticket, which may involve several stops along the way. Air pressure affects pets too and a circuitous route means you could have delays somewhere along the line. When you are traveling with pets, the goal is to get there as quickly as possible.

It’s important to make a reservation for them at the time of making your own bookings because all airlines only allow a certain number of pets per flight in both economy and business class. The same goes for pet-friendly hotels. Usually the hotel has a limited number of pet-friendly rooms and they tend to go fast in high season.

Road trips also require preparation in the form of a crash-tested crate or carrier that will fit into the car along with your other luggage. It’s unsafe to allow pets to be unrestrained in a vehicle – for their safety, as well as yours and other motorists on the road! In the case of an accident, an unrestrained pet becomes a projectile. Also if your dog panics, he may bolt out of the vehicle into on-coming traffic. A harness is okay if you can connect it to a seatbelt so that it becomes a restraint for the duration of the journey.

Traveling with pets is like traveling with children. Make a checklist to ensure you don’t leave medications behind, a pet bed or sleeping bag and of course lots of toys. If you are heading to the ocean or a lake, a flotation device is also a good idea as not all dogs are strong swimmers.

Never leave pets home alone, even for a couple of days. Accidents happen around the home such as water bowls being knocked over or ants invading the food bowl. Employing a pet sitter is part of the cost of your vacation.

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