It’s Summer Vacation Time!

According to the Travel Industry Association of America, approximately 30 million people travel with their pets each year.  Over 49 percent of adults that are recreational travelers consider their pets as part of the family, while 18 percent usually take their furry family members with them.  Not all pets travel well due to temperament, illness, or some type of physical restriction.  Put your pet’s interest first and think about where they will be safest and happiest.  If you make the decision to take Fluffy or Fido with you, here are some things to consider before you hit the road.

  • Plan ahead.  Make sure that the hotels, campgrounds, or a home where you may visit is pet friendly.  Also check into pet friendly shops and activities upon arrival at your destination.
  • Schedule a visit with your veterinarian.   Before you travel, make sure that your pet is healthy and current on all vaccinations.  Always have a copy of your pet’s recent vaccination records with you.
  • ID Tags/Microchip.  Is your pet microchipped?  A microchip is key should your pet become lost.  Your pet should also where ID tags with updated information at all times.  It is also a good idea to have a current photo either with you or on your phone.  Should your pet become lost, you will have a current photo to show those that can help you find your missing pet.
  • Have emergency veterinary numbers and addresses in the area where you will be staying.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • Things to pack:  first aid kit, your pet’s medications, familiar toys and bedding, water and food bowls, and of course, water and food.  Being on vacation doesn’t mean that your pet needs to eat different food.  Changing food can cause stomach upset.  Stick to your pets regular diet.  Pets also suffer from prolonged time in the sun, so be sure to pack sunscreen.
  • Stick to your pet’s regular feeding and exercise schedule as much as possible.  Routine is important and will keep travel less stressful.
  • Motion sickness.  If your pet gets motion sickness, take along ice cubes to use in place of water and keep feeding to a minimum.  You may also want to consult your veterinarian for medication.
  • Secure your pet.  Car seat belts, dog restraints, crates or carriers, all keep your pet safe and keep them from hindering the driver.
  • Cover the seats.  There are a wide variety of pet seat covers that protect your car upholstery and make traveling easier.
  • Exercise.  Give your pet time to “get the wiggles out” before you travel.  Frequent stops along the way to stretch and take a break are also important.
  • Traveling in an unfamiliar vehicle?  If you are going to use a camper, motor home, or some type of vehicle that your pet is not familiar with, make sure that this is not going to stress them.   It could make for a very long and unhappy trip.
  • Underestimate what you can accomplish.  Everything takes longer when traveling with a pet.
  • Clean up after your pet.  Be a responsible pet owner and scoop your pet’s poop!
  • Never leave your pet in a hot car.

(Information provided by Go Pet Friendly.com, www.babble.com, www.canine journal.com,  and the humanesociety.org.)