Traveling is a necessary part of life. Depending on your work and lifestyle, it can be more frequent than your neighbors. You might even enjoy taking vacations and road trips. Regardless of the reason you travel, it can be stressful to iron out all the details. When you are figuring out arrangements for more than just you, it also adds an extra layer of logistics.
Traveling with a pet can be an especially stressful experience — for you and your animal. Your pet might get overwhelmed in small spaces and by change. It can be challenging to find last minute stops for potty breaks. Luckily, there are ways to create a calmer experience for you and your furry loved one.
In fact, several tips you use to make travel smoother for you apply to your pet as well. Being proactive in your travels is key, and you’re on the right track by looking up this article. Keep reading for three travel hacks for pet owners.
1. Research Transport Options
When you decide on a destination, it’s wise to look into the best way to get there. From timing to cost, this is an important step in the process. For example, maybe you live in Missouri and have accepted a job offer in Oregon. To relocate you are tasked with deciding if you’ll rent a truck and drive your belongings or if you’ll hire a service. If you hire a service, will you drive or fly yourself?
Once you make that choice, you need to decide on pet transport for your best friend. If you’re driving, you might decide to take your pet with you. If you’re driving the moving truck, you could hire a service to ensure their safe delivery. For flights, you can sometimes take your pet with you, but you’ll want to check the airline’s rules. Depending on the size of your animal and their breed, they may not be allowed to fly.
Additionally, each animal handles the various modes of transportation differently. Consider their anxiety level as well as cost when determining what is best. Traveling with your pet has never been easier nor have there ever been more options to accommodate transport.
2. Get Your Documents in Order
While you’re checking the expiration date on your driver’s license and finding your passport, check your pet’s documentation too. Is your dog microchipped? Do they have a tag with their name and your contact information? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, is your address and phone number current? If they don’t have a tag or chip, consider investing in those before you travel.
Losing your dog is a scary and stressful time when at home. It compounds if it happens while traveling in an area that is unfamiliar to you both. At least with updated documentation you know when your fuzzy companion is found, and the finder can locate you. While gathering documents, grab a copy of your animal’s medical records. If they have any prescriptions, take the bottle with you. It’s important to keep medications in proper containers, so don’t travel with pills in a bag.
Take a copy of your pet’s vaccination records with you. And remember to jot down your veternanian’s contact information. Different states and cities have various requirements for animals. Having these medical documents with you can save a big headache when you’re on the road. Look up vets at your destination as well, so you’ll know where to go if there’s an emergency.
3. Plot Out Pet-Friendly Stops
Remove the stress of the unknown by doing a little preemptive research. No matter how long your trip is, plan your stops for gas and food keeping your pet in mind. You could stop for gas and a potty break at a truck stop that has a huge grassy area. Look up dog parks on your route that aren’t too far off the highway. Let your wiggly buddy run off some energy and stretch.
You don’t have to sacrifice your own experience either. There are many restaurants with patios that allow pets. Tripswithpets.com and bringfido.com are just a couple options to look up pet-friendly restaurants in a city near you. Try some delicious local flair with your side-kick riding shotgun. It doesn’t all have to be gas station food for you when you have a tag-along.
To that end, make sure to book lodging in advance as well. Look for options that allow pets. Your animal is part of your family. Doing this research and finding comfortable and welcoming places for both of you changes the whole trip. Booking a rental house with a yard can really improve your stay, especially if you’re there multiple nights.
Remember to Enjoy the Trip
It can feel stressful or even overwhelming to figure out what to do with your pet when you travel. If you’re taking your pet with you on the adventure, there are ways to make it easier. Planning ahead can take so much of the stress out of the trip. Often, it’s the unknowns and last-minute pop-ups that cause the most stress.
Try to think through those things before you depart. Control what you can control, like having your pets’ documents up-to-date and with you. Plan your stops. If you follow the three hacks above, it can create a calmer and more enjoyable experience for you and your companion. Remember to enjoy the experience. Heading somewhere new should be fun and exciting.