Locate Lodging that Accepts Pets
Check out the pet-friendly lodging at the travel website bringfido.com for a list of Bed and Breakfast Inns in over 150 different countries.
The website works in conjunction with Travelocity, and it provides online detailed pet policy and information, reviews and reservations. BringFido caters to owners with dogs and provides information on where a traveler can find dog-friendly parks, beaches, outdoor restaurants, and pet emergency hospitals.
BringFido website’s “about” page states five reasons you will love their service, among several, a couple includes a free gift for booking with them, and they will donate some of the proceeds to a charitable animal organization. For more information click the about page.
While this “Pet-Friendly” website is not a guaranteed site for lodging for cats, some Bed and Breakfasts and Inns will provide accommodations for cats. Call ahead of time to confirm if the establishment will accommodate a cat.
Booked and Ready to Roll
Now that you have found lodging that will welcome your furry friend, it’s time to plan out transportation. This is an important step because Fluffy or Fido will have many of the same needs you have while traveling.
Travel by Car
Has your pet ever been in a vehicle before? Heading off for the big trip, with the car loaded, and the pet running around your feet is not the time to find out how Fido will react. Start a few weeks ahead of time, and acclimate your pet to the feel of being on the road.
Inside the Car At All Times:
Your pet’s safe travel needs are the same as your own. Have you ever seen a car go by with a dog’s head hanging out the vehicle window? Serious harm and injury have happened to dogs while riding with their head hanging out the window. The dog’s ears can get damaged by allowing them to do this, they can develop a lung infection, and of course, they can be struck by an object, according to ASPCA. There is an even graver danger when dog owner allows a pet to ride in the back of an open pickup box. Dogs have been seriously injured or killed after falling out of the open box.
Be Seated and Buckle Your Seat Belt:
Dogs and other pets should not be allowed to run freely inside a moving vehicle. Small pets, such as a small dog or cat, should be kept in a crate to prevent the pet from moving around in the car. Secure large pets into the car seat with the use of an appropriate pet harness. Agitated pets running around a vehicle can cause an accident, or seriously injure themselves if the motor vehicle comes to a sudden stop.
Bring your pets favorite items, snacks and toys on the road. Your pet may have a favorite blanket or toy you can throw in their crate. You can also consider adding one of your own articles of clothing if you plan to be separated. This may go a long way to easing separation anxiety.
Attend to Mother Nature:
Bring a jug with enough fresh drinking water for your pet and don’t forget the bowl. Your pet is okay without food for a few hours but does need to stay hydrated, especially in warm weather. Allow your pet to take frequent nature breaks every 2-3 hours. These are good breaks for you as well. Try to find rest stops along the way that allow for dog walking, and do not forget to pick up after Fido! If you are traveling with Fluffy, take Fluffy out of the crate to roam the stopped vehicle or put Fluffy on a collar. Disposable litter boxes come in very handy when traveling with kitties.
Hot/Cold Car Warning:
Pets should never be left alone in a vehicle for any reason. When it is hot out, the temperature in the vehicle can quickly climb to over 100 degrees, even if the window is cracked open.In the cold weather, the vehicle quickly becomes a freezer, and the pet can become hypothermic.
Travel by Air
Traveling with your pet can pose some risks to your furry companion. You should do some prep work and research before booking your flight. Ensure that your pet is healthy before you embark on air travel. Pets stay in the cargo hold, and conditions can get a bit taxing. Many airlines won’t allow some breeds of dogs to remain in the cargo hold because of breathing difficulty; these include the snub-nosed breeds, e.g., Pugs, Bulldogs, etc. The cargo hold can get hot in the summer daytime, and cold in the winter evening and at night. There have been terrifying accounts of pet death under the harsh conditions of the cargo hold.
Some airlines are intended exclusively for flying pets. If you are concerned about the safe travel of your pet, explore one of these dedicated flights where the pet is cared for and monitored. If Fido or Fluffy flies outside of the Country they will also need to have proof of vaccinations. Don’t forget this important paperwork. If your pet has not had all the required vaccinations, get them into the veterinarian well in advance of travel. Your Veterinarian can offer you additional advice on reducing anxiety and your pets ability to handle travel safely.
Other Travel Recommendations
The Thundershirt is new pet wear for the anxious pet. This unique pet wear can be strapped on your pet before travel to help prevent anxiety. The little pet shirts fit tightly around your dog or cat and create specifically targeted points of pressure. The premise is that the sensation is similar to a swaddled infant, and produces a calming effect.
It is important to get the shirt in the correct size so that it fits snugly, and hugs your pet. There are 7 sizes for dogs ranging from XXS for puppies to XXL for dogs up to 110 pounds. There are 3 size options for cats ranging from small (9 pounds), medium (9-13 pounds) and large (13 pounds and over). The shirt is available through Amazon Major pet retailers also sell the shirt for approximately $39.95.
Your Veterinarian can make sure that your pet is healthy enough to travel, and do a thorough checkup. If your pet suffers severe anxiety in a car or airplane, it may be a recommended to consult with your pet's Veterinarian before you consider travel. There are medications, and other remedies, your pet's doctor can provide that will ease severe anxiety.
Where to Go for More Pet Travel Tips
For more information about traveling with pets visit the website Mother Nature Network – MNN.