Pets are part of the family, yet when it comes to taking a trip, it can be tough to make arrangements for your furry friends. Kennels are pricey and confine your animals to a small cage for the time you’re gone. A house-sitter is even more expensive and requires trusting a stranger with a key to your house.
Another option is to take the family pet along. This is becoming easier as lodging facilities recognize that people like to travel with pets. Here are a few tips to help you plan your next vacation without excluding Fido.
- Get up to date on all vaccinations. Whether your accommodations require it or not, having those vaccinations will keep your dog safe during his or her travels. Take a copy of the certificates for these vaccinations along with you.
- Gather supplies. You’ll need to bring your dog’s collar and leash, toys, food, and bowls. Also consider taking along some drinking water from home, since sudden exposure to strange water may cause your pet to get sick.
- Rent a house. While pet-friendly hotels are plentiful, they can still feel confining to an animal who likes to be able to see out windows. Sites like vrbo.com (Vacation Rentals by Owner) are full of great pet-friendly homes and cabins you can rent during your travels that will feel like a home away from home for both your pets and your family.
- Restrain your pet. Unrestrained pets in a moving vehicle can be dangerous, both for the animal and for the humans in the car. Special restraints that clip to the seatbelt are useful, but the safest place for your pet is inside a carrier.
- Be mindful of your pet. This means taking plenty of breaks and never, ever leaving your pet unattended in a hot car, even with the window cracked.
For some people, a pet is a vital part of the family and a family vacation isn’t the same without taking that pet along. Thankfully, there are enough options now that a pet can tag along without having to spend a week locked in a cage.