Recently one night we were pulling into a hotel, and noticed a lot of cars in the parking lot with bumper stickers saying how they “heart” dogs! I didn't think anything of it, until I started seeing a number of dogs inside and outside the hotel.
Apparently, a big dog show was being held in the area, and many of the participants were staying at our hotel. I struck up a conversation with one of the pet owners. He was saying how difficult it is to find a hotel that accepts pets.
Photo by _e.t (Flickr)
From our conversation, here are 5 tips for pet travel from the experts:
1. Search for a hotel that takes pets – Not all hotels will allow you to take your pet into your hotel room, so look for a “pet friendly” hotel. Check with each hotel, but some of the chains that will accept pets are Red Roof Inn, Days Inn, Motel 6 and Super 8.
2. Check for pet accommodations – Many hotels that accept pets are “pet lovers” and they know what it's like traveling with pets. They can help with items like pet beds, water bowls and other items your pets may need.
3. Use a pet carrier – Fido or fluffy make not like it, but traveling in a pet carrier is the safest way to travel. Plus make sure the carrier is secure. If you are traveling with a cat, I would suggest strapping them in with a seat belt. If it is a larger carrier, make sure it is on a level spot in your car or van, and won't move around.
4. Frequent stops – If you have a long trip make sure that you make regular stops, not only for you, but for your pet. Let the pet out to work around and answer the call of nature. Spend a little time petting them and if they have room, give them a little physical activity. And, don't forget to give them food and water.
5. Pet medication – Many pets don't travel well. Traveling in a car (or any other form of transportation) can be very traumatic to your pet. Prior to leaving on your trip, check with your vet to see if a mild tranquilizer might help. It will help calm the pet, and make the trip easier.
Our pets are a member of our family, and they will enjoy the new adventure as much as you will. So, if you are going on vacation – try to take your pet with you!