Our pets are like family. So when we travel, we’d often love to take them along. It’s easier than ever to do now that many hotels and airlines extend their hospitality to our four-legged friends. But there are some doggy dos and kitty don’ts for traveling with your pet that are best to follow (for their sake, and yours).
All pets require a clean bill of health before you jet off, so schedule an appointment with the vet a couple of weeks before your trip. If your pet is taking any medications, stock up on refills a few days before you leave town to ensure that you have enough to last the whole trip. Bring a portable water dish to keep them hydrated and bring enough of your pet’s preferred food to avoid tummy trouble from a sudden change in diet.
Packing a good animal carrier is key. If you’re traveling by plane or train, contact the airline or railway to find out about carrier size restrictions. Leave a new carrier open and out for several days before your departure so your pet can explore it at their leisure. Placing a favorite blanket or toy inside that’s imprinted with their scent will also make the carrier feel friendlier to your pet. And it’s a good idea to line it with a puppy pee pad in case of an accident en route.
When planning your accommodations, make sure they accept pets before you book. Some hotels charge fees or have weight limits or restrictions on the number of pets. Try these animal-friendly hotels, motels and car-rental companies:
- Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and National are all pet-friendly car-rental companies. Just make sure to return your car free of pet hair to avoid cleaning fees.
- Hilton has 378 properties that will pamper your pet.
- All Motel 6 locations allow one pet per room, with no extra fees or deposits.
- Pets are welcome at more than 1,600 Best Western hotels.
- Baymont Inn and Suites, Days Inn, Howard Johnson and Ramada accept pets at many of their locations. Call ahead to ask about their pet policies.
Have you ever traveled with a pet? Tell us about it in the comments below.
By Rhonda Riche