12 Travel Hacks for Pet Parents

Since pets are the new “kids,” traveling with them has become just as common. Although bringing Fido along on your adventures can be exciting, it can also be stressful and messy if you aren’t prepared. Traveling should be an enjoyable experience, and traveling with your dog should add an extra element of fun. So grab your lint roller and follow us along as we journey through these travel hacks for pet parents.

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Research Airline Policies

Every airline has a different pet policy. Be sure to read all the fine print before booking a flight with your dog or cat. Cost for flying with a pet will differ per airline, and each may have different requirements for pet carriers. You will also want to bring a copy of updated vaccination records or have a health certificate from your vet, as TSA may ask for those at the security line. Remember that every airport and airline is different!

Update Your Pet’s ID Information

Before you travel anywhere with your pet, be sure their ID tags are updated and their microchip information is current. The only thing worse than losing your pet is losing them while traveling. Avoid disaster by renewing all of your pet’s identification.

Gather a List of Emergency Veterinarians

Accidents happen, and sometimes at the worst of times! It’s best to be prepared, so do a bit of research before traveling to your destination. Create a list of emergency veterinarians that you can bring your pet to in case you need it. We can always hope that you will not need that list, but you never know! Better to be safe and ready in case disaster strikes.

Your Hotel May Have Specialty Pet Services

Not only are pet-friendly hotels common, but many of them also offer incredible services for dogs. For example, if you’re traveling for a work conference and need to leave your dog in the room for a day, your hotel may offer a host of services; checking in on your dog, taking them on a potty break, give them a bath and treat, etc. When looking for a host hotel, it’s worth looking into a place that offers these snazzy options.

Purchase a Quality Pet Carrier

Whether you’re driving or flying to your vacation destination you’ll want to keep your pet protected in a high quality carrier. Sleepypod and Gen7Pets both offers some fantastic options. Sleepypod travel carriers have been crash tested for the car, so you know your pet will be safe on road trips. If you’re buying a carrier for the airplane, make sure it meets requirements for your chosen airline.

Tire Your Dog Before Traveling

If you’re going to be in a vehicle or airplane for a while, allow your dog plenty of exercise before heading out. A tired dog will be more likely to rest and relax during the ride.

Get Ready for the Airport

The airport can be a stressful place for pets and their parents. A little preparation can get you a long way, including through the security line without any stress. Here’s what you can expect:

  • If you have a small dog who is traveling in the cabin with you, be ready to take them out of the carrier in the security line. Your carrier goes through the X-ray machine, while you hold your dog through the metal detector.
  • Put small liquid items in small Ziploc and follow all TSA guidelines. This includes your dog’s medication. You don’t want to have to throw it away.
  • Have a copy of your dog’s health and vaccination records easily available just in case.
  • Bring an empty water bottle that you can fill up for your dog once you get through security.
  • If you have dog food or treats, be prepared to take them out and show them to the TSA agents.
  • Always have waste bags to clean up after your pet!

Discover Dog-Friendly Places

Continuing on the theme of researching, hit up Google to find dog-friendly places wherever you’re heading to. Many stores, restaurants and state parks allow dogs, and you’re bound to find some dog-friendly things to do near you.

Dog-friendly travel tip: Instagram is great for research. If you’re going to a city, let’s say Seattle, search the hastag on Instagram (#seattle). If you see photos of dogs at a local place, look further into it. You’ll find some neat dog-welcoming places that way.

Consider CBD Oil

If you have a dog that gets motion sickness or suffers from anxiety, CBD/hemp oil can help! Administer some oil a few hours before traveling to ensure a calmer travel experience. Seek a veterinarian’s counsel if you have questions or concerns.

Bring a First Aid Kit

Who knows what could happen in a strange place, especially if you’re camping or hiking. Put together a doggy first aid kit to bring on your travels. Items to put in your first aid kit include tweezers, gauze, latex gloves, alcohol wipes, bandage tape, cotton balls or swabs, ice pack, saline eye solution, antibiotic ointment, a towel, Benadryl and emergency veterinarian information.

Pack the Essentials

Did you remember to pack all of the necessities for your pet? It also wouldn’t hurt to pack extras.

  • Leash and collar/harness with ID tags
  • Food and water bowls
  • Your pet’s medication
  • Toys
  • Food
  • Treats and chews
  • Water bottle
  • Blanket
  • Waste bags
  • Lint roller

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re traveling with your dog for the first time, allow them to get used to the pet carrier and car ahead of time. Use lots of treats and positive reinforcement. You can start by putting the carrier on the floor in your house and allowing them to sniff it. Treat them for snuggling up inside the carrier so they know it’s a positive place.

If your dog isn’t familiar with the car, you can also use positive reinforcement training techniques to get them comfortable with driving. Consider taking small rides around the block in their carrier at first, then work your way up to longer trips. Remember that practice makes perfect! If your dog is comfortable with their carrier before the big day of traveling, everything will run smoothly.

Remember not all dogs like traveling, and it may be best to leave them at home with a trusted pet sitter. Ultimately you need to what is best for your dog, although it may not be as fun. Happy travels!

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