7 Pet Travel Tips for the Holiday Season

Thanks to holiday parties, shopping trips and family visits, the next few weeks will be busy (and exciting) times. Many of us are faced with a few logistical choices, too, in that we must decide what do do with our furry friends during all the hubbub. Will you bring your pets along for the ride?

PetRelocation.com recently conducted a pet travel survey discovering that 63% of pet owners will travel at least 50 miles away from home with their pets, mostly with dogs and primarily to the homes of friends or family. Sounds like there are lots of well-loved animals out there, so here are a few tips to keep in mind as you bundle up your precious cargo and include them in your holiday fun.

Call Ahead – Whether you’re staying with family, friends or at a hotel, it’s important to make sure that you’re bringing your pet into a welcome environment. Not everyone is okay with having four-legged pals crashing on the couch, and it would more than just inconvenient to be turned out into the cold by a hotel that doesn’t accept furry guests.

Buckle Up – Transport your pets the right way by finding a kennel or harness that is both safe and comfortable, and if your pet tends to become nervous in the car, take a few short trips before the main event to help make travel feel more normal. If you’re looking, we’ve come across some pretty cool carriers lately that make car travel look easy.

Update Your Info – Vaccinations, tags and flea medicine should all be up-to-date when you travel, and it helps to carry documentation of these things as well. Even if you’re only traveling by car, it’s smart to have your paperwork and contact information in order.

Plan for Anything – It seems cynical to prep for the worst, but if something unexpected arises, it’s always good to have a game plan. Keep a current photo handy in case your pup runs away, locate a vet near your parents’ house in case kitty gets sick during your visit, carry a small first-aid kit in the car, and program a few emergency numbers into your phone.

Stay Vigilant – In a new environment, especially one where people are eating, drinking and being merry, it’s important to keep your eyes open to make sure your pet isn’t allowed to get into anything she shouldn’t (sweets, alcohol, harmful plants, etc…).

Be Sensitive – Pets can freak out a little when they’re away from their usual surroundings, so think of their needs and consider the situation carefully before you even leave. If they’re up for the trip, pack a few familiar items, like favorite toys, a cozy bed, or a blanket that smells like home to help calm any possibly frayed nerves.

Maintain a Schedule – When you feed and exercise your pets on a normal schedule, they’re less likely to notice or care that their world has been turned festively upside down. Speaking of exercise, it wouldn’t hurt to get your dogs moving a little more than usual; burning energy by running, walking and playing leaves them less time to feel anxious, a fact that applies any time of year.

Article by Catlin Moore.  Source:  http://blog.petrelocation.com/blog/pet-travel-advice/0/0/7-pet-travel-tips-for-the-holiday-season