Two heads are better than one when it comes to pet travel tip. I’ve collaborated with Kendra Thornton a travel expert who has appeared on television stations across the country to offer travel tips and deals to millions of people. Kendra is a mother of three. Before being promoted to the position of full time mom she was the former director of communications at Orbitz. Kendra now lives in Chicago where family is her number one priority in everyday life. Both Kendra and myself travel with our pets and we’ve taken our personal experiences to bring you a post full of travel tips to help your dog become a traveling rockstar.
Kendra’s Secret to Traveling with Fido
Whenever my family goes on vacation, we try to bring along our furry family member. She’s an incredible pet and has the most beautiful personality, but traveling with a dog takes a lot of planning. You have to know where you’re going to stay, and you have to find activities that are suitable to bring your dog along as well. Traveling with our dog has always been a bit of challenge, but we make it work because it’s so much fun to see her exploring new places. Next month we have family coming to Chicago with their dog. I have a few tips to make your trip with your pets this summer really comfortable and exciting.
Keeping Pets Calm on the Road ~ As I have learned, our dog loves familiarity and will only calm down if she has a favorite toy or blanket nearby. I try to bring her favorite stuffed animals and bones that she loves to take her mind off of where we are and what we’re doing that’s so out of the element for her. In addition, one trick I have learned combines aromatherapy and massage. I simply put some lavender oil on my fingers and give my doggy a nice rub down so she’s very relaxed, happy and feel safe.
Pick the Right Hotels ~ There are a few different hotels that always get on my list. Since my extended family is coming to Chicago with our dog this year, I made it a point to find a hotel that will make it easier to bring along fido. There are tons of places that have doggy daycare, doggy breakfasts and pet-friendly accommodations that won’t make it difficult to bring your pet to the hotel and walk her around the grounds. I always look for parks and trails nearby so we can also get out easily and take a break from the hotel room.
Avoid Planes ~ I learned the hard way that dogs and planes don’t mix. It’s very difficult for dogs to travel in airplanes because it’s such a different environment, and they typically don’t get to be in the same place as their family. They have to ride in the cargo bay. If you do plan on taking your dog on a plane, you should always follow PETA guidelines and make your pet as comfortable as possible.
Bring the Crate ~ Crates are the perfect solution for dogs in hotel rooms. When you’re on vacation, you don’t know how long you might be out exploring and sometimes you can’t take your pet along. For those afternoons and evenings, a crate is the best thing. The trick is to make your crate a comfortable and familiar place so that your dog is happy to be there. When you get back, just be sure to take out your pet and go for a long walk.
Sam’s Travel Preparation Tips
Prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. It’s not our favorite thing to do when preparing for any kind of travel and adding on the extra preparation for your pet is probably the last thing you want to do. However that preparation will make your trip with your pet so much easier and less stressful.
Pet Travel Bag ~ Start by using a travel bag specifically for your pet. Finding supplies will be super easy when it’s all in one bag. The items to pack below are specifically targeted to traveling with your pet by car. Start by calculating the amount of food you’re going to need per day while you’re away. Using sandwich bags for each day eliminates the need for a food measuring cup. Treat are a secret weapon to getting your dog’s attention when eating on a patio and also for rewarding good behavior…so throw them in the bag too. Pack bowls and plenty of water and consider the use of collapsible bowls as they are space savers and easy to transport.
First Aid Kit ~ You never know what could happen on a trip especially if you’re in a new environment. Preparing a first aid kit geared towards the climate that you’re visiting is crucial. A new environment could mean snakes bites, cactus needles and other nasty things. Be prepared and not panicked. Does your pet take medicine? Add their medicine to your first aid kit and make sure you have all they need for the duration of the trip.
Pet ID ~ Your pet needs to be easily identifiable should they get away from you. Make sure they have visible ID tags an up to date microchip.
Pet Apps ~ I’m a huge fan of pet apps. Apps can take the work out of preparing a packing list, having all of your pets information at your offer tips or finding pet friendly accommodations and eateries. Here are my favourites.
Knock on wood you will never have the need to see a veterinarian on your trip but again preparation is key. Take the time to locate a veterinarian in the area where you’ll be staying and remember to take your rabies certificate with you should you need to show proof of the vaccination.
Buckle Up ~ Finally if you’re not using your crate to secure your pet in the car then use a seat belt buckle. This will ensure that your pet is safe and secure and you’ll be free of distractions.
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