I was recently approached by a fellow writer named Kendra who wondered if I’d collaborate with her on a project to share tips for traveling with pets. If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know my Kloë is very important to me, so naturally this appealed to me, because I’ve got a pretty standard set of routines for when she and I travel together.
I was surprised to find though that Kendra’s (check her out on Twitter at @KendraThornton) routines are completely different from mine. Check out what she has to say on how to travel with pets.
Going places with pets is a great idea especially if you love bringing your pet along. However, a good amount of planning is necessary to ensure that your furry friend has a fun trip too. I always go through a checklist to ensure that our dog has treats, water, food, treats, favorite toys and blankets so that she is always comfortable. My extended family is planning a trip to Chicago at the moment, and so it’s very important to me to get things all planned out before they leave as they will be bringing their dog. These are some of the best tips for traveling with pets that I have found.
Bring a Crate
Even though you may not want to crate a dog, I have found that they really like to be in a crate on vacations. It’s a familiar place, and it makes them safe no matter where we go. I bring along toys and blankets that are familiar to our dog so that she has the same scents and touches of home that make her feel safe. Before putting her in a crate, I always take her on a long walk for exercise just so she wants to rest in her crate when we get back.
Finding the Right Hotel
Some hotels out there have wonderful pet policies and even some amenities for pets. Whenever we travel with our dog, I pick a hotel that offers some kind of doggy breakfast or play area just for pets. If she starts to bark in the hotel room, I always take her out right away and burn off excess energy with a fun run around the hotel grounds. I suggested my family stay right in downtown Chicago, not only are there plenty of places to stay, but they are close to all the sites and are pet friendly too!
Whether you plan on traveling on a plane or going out on a boat, it’s important to take the necessary precautions. Dogs and planes don’t really mix, but if you do plan on flying with your pet, always bring their favorite toys and follow PETA guidelines. If going out on a boat, make sure that pets have a flotation device on at all times.
Keeping Dogs Calm
One secret to ensuring that my dog is comfortable in new places is to bring along lavender oil. I find that just rubbing some on my hands and petting her will relax her even when she is frightened or not feeling well on long road trips. In addition, we take frequent stops so she can get out and look around while we are driving.
It’s important to plan ahead when bringing your pet along on any vacation. It will make their vacation just as fun as yours.
So my thoughts are as follows… I think Kloë would lose her mind if I crated her. I have a hatch back so I lay the seats down and pad the back with a nice blanket, which gives her space. I do this if I have little enough stuff that she’s ok back there sharing space with my stuff. Otherwise, I leave the seats up, and she snoozes in the back seat on a hammock that prevents her from falling in between the seats into the foot room. Mine looks about like this, though I bought it at Wal Mart for $20.00. It’s lasted since she was super little, so it was a great purchase.
I have never taken Kloë on a plane, train, or boat. If I do, however, I’ll be sure to take Kendra’s advice to heart! Very good tips.
Lastly, I am totally going to try the lavender oil. Kloë has taken recently to absolutely freaking out when we set out on car trips. She doesn’t get sick or anything, but she cries for probably half an hour until she gives up the fight and stops the flip out. When we head North for the summer, I’m going to try it. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Do you have any tips for traveling with pets? What do you do?