For many, a family vacation just isn’t the same if the four-legged family members can’t come along, as well. However, traveling with pets requires a little extra planning and preparation. Discover what steps you need to take to make sure your next trip with your pets is safe and stress-free for everyone.
Don’t Forget to Buckle Up
You wouldn’t take a road trip without making sure your children are properly buckled up, and the same should go for your pets. Every year, unrestrained dogs in the front seat cause around 30,000 accidents. Unrestrained pets also can get seriously injured if you’re in an accident or have to stop suddenly. Keep your pets safe and secure by investing in a travel crate, pet seat belt, or pet car seat.
Plan Time for Pit Stops
Another tip to keep in mind if you’re traveling by car is to plan time for pit stops along the way. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends you stop every two or three hours so your pets can relieve themselves and get some exercise. These pit stops are also a good time to pull out a portable water bowl and give your pets a drink so they stay hydrated.
Keep All Heads Inside
While we can all picture the joyous expression our dogs have on their faces when they stick their heads out the car window, it’s actually dangerous for them. Pebbles, leaves, sand, and even insects can hit them at a high rate of speed and do some damage. Even worse, these items can get lodged in a dog’s nose, ear, or throat and cause even more problems. If you still want them to have the sensation of wind, crack the window just enough to let a breeze in, but not enough that they can get their muzzle out.
Finding Pet-Friendly Accommodations
Perhaps the biggest challenge and concern for pet owners is finding a place where they can stay with their pets while traveling. Do some research before you leave to find out which hotels allow pets. Luckily, more hotels are becoming pet friendly, which means it’s easier to find a place to stay. For example, Hotel Monaco in Baltimore has no weight or breed restrictions and no pet fees.
Dining Out With Your Dog
Along with finding pet-friendly accommodations, you’ll also need to consider what you plan to do about meals. While plenty of pets will be happy eating at the hotel room, you might want to bring your pets with you when you dine out. Your first step is finding out the pet policy for area restaurants.
While the FDA prohibits all restaurants from allowing pets inside, some will offer outdoor dining options where your pets can sit with you. If you find some good options, make sure you remember to pack a portable water bowl, and don’t forget to let your pets relieve themselves before you head to the restaurant.
When you’re planning your next getaway, keep these tips in mind for traveling with your pets so that everyone can join in on the fun.