Guest Post: Traveling With Pets

Dog in seatbelt

If you have pets, traveling can be a stressful ordeal for both of you. Making sure your beloved animal is well taken care of is likely a priority, but it’s a big one on top of what is sure to be a long list of things to pack, schedule, and plan. Not only is it overwhelming for you, but when you have to take your pet to a kennel or boarding service, they can suffer from lack of adequate rest and a poor diet due to stress.

The good news is, you have options. If your travel plans will allow you to bring your pet along, good planning and some preparation is necessary. If you prefer to leave your loved one in the capable hands of someone else, there are ways to go about it that won’t leave you worrying during the entirety of your trip. Here are some of the best tips.

Do some research

If you’re planning on taking your pet with you, the first thing to do is sit down at the computer and research your destination, along with airport rules if you’re flying. Some will require you to have a full bill of health for your animal from the vet, including all shots, and if you’re traveling by air, there will likely be additional fees for bringing your pet on board. Don’t forget to consider the place where you’ll be staying; will there be a place for your dog to run around some of the time? Do you need to bring bedding or special toys? Take into consideration your pet’s daily routine and see if you’ll be able to accommodate him before you make your plans.

If you’re driving, make sure you have a comfortable and secure carrier for smaller pets and keep larger ones in the back of the vehicle. Don’t allow animals to roam around the car–this is dangerous for everyone involved. Make sure you plan for plenty of stops, especially if you’re driving in hot summer months, so your pet can get out, stretch their legs, use the bathroom, and get a drink.

Find a sitter

If taking your pet along isn’t an option and you don’t want to take him to a kennel, you might be able to find a sitter who will come to your house and stay for the duration of your trip, or perhaps just someone to come and let your pet out and feed them. There could be dozens of responsible people near you who are looking for a dog walking job, and sites like Rover will help you find them and arrange for payment.

It’s important to remember to familiarize the sitter with your pet’s routines, show them how to administer any medications, and let them know about anything that will be going on while you’re gone. Leave a detailed list of emergency contact numbers. Also, if you live in an apartment community, it’s a good idea to let your neighbors know that you’ll be gone but someone will be over to take care of the pets, that way there will be no surprises.

As a pet owner, finding adequate care for your loved one is important, so try not to feel guilty if you choose to leave your animal at home, especially if it’s because your destination isn’t conducive to his lifestyle. He will be much happier in a calm, loving environment where he can wait for your return.

Guest Blogger Catherine Workman grew up in a small town where she yearned to stretch her wings. Now that she’s left the nest, she spends every available weekend exploring different cities across the country and someday, across the world. She started Wellness Voyager with her friends to share her travels and experiences and hopes to inspire others to embrace the hidden gems of the world.

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