Pets hold a place near and dear to our hearts and according to recent findings, they are also holding a spot next to us on vacations. A survey conducted by TripAdvisor found that almost half of the polled pet owners plan to bring their pet with them on vacation.

The increasing role that our furry companions are playing in travel plans has led to more leniency on pets in public places and more products available to make your pet’s trip easier. If you’re interested in bringing your dog or cat on your next vacation, make sure you keep in mind the below tips.

1. Test Their Travel Ability

You never know how an animal is going to react to being placed in a cage or enclosure for an extended period of time. How does your cat fare in a carrier? Does your dog get queasy when riding in a car for a lengthy trip? These are all things you can test out before making additional (and sometimes costly) accommodations for bringing a pet on your journey.

2. Make Sure They Are Secure

Despite their size, dogs shouldn’t sit up front and they shouldn’t be allowed to roam loose in the back of a car. You never know when an accident might happen, and just as you prepare with your seatbelt, you should make sure your pet is secure. The United States Humane Society cautions that “Dog restraints or seat belts are useful for preventing your dog from roaming around the car…but they haven’t been reliably shown to protect dogs during a crash.” Whether it’s a cat or dog, have a carrier that can be anchored into a seat.

3. Remember, Your Dog Gets Thirsty Too

When traveling, your pet may not have unlimited access to a water bowl like they do at home. We like to stay hydrated throughout the day and so do they. The company Feed My Pooch makes collapsible bowls that are perfect for food and water on the go. The best part? They are easy to clean and don’t take up much space. PetMD cites that dogs should drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. Keep that in mind as you schedule times throughout your trip for your pet to have a moment to hydrate.

4. Identification Is Important

While your pet likely sports a collar with your home address, be sure to attach a temporary identification tag that notes where you’re staying while on the trip. It’s also good to have a picture on hand, in case your animal gets loose. Both i.d. and pictures will be very helpful if you have to go on a hunt around an unfamiliar town because Fluffy unexpectedly escaped out a door.

5. Flying Can Be Dangerous

If you want to enjoy a trip with a pet, choose a destination that is within driving distance. Bringing cats and dogs on a flight often comes with additional fees, restrictions and the possibility of cargo travel. The situation can put your beloved animal in an uncomfortable position, and if the only option is cargo travel, that can be an unsafe alternative for your pet.


Author: Allison Klibanoff