How to Travel With Your Pet?

A dog in-front of a car illustration image

Pack Your Bags, It’s Vacation Time!

Are you going on a tropical vacation this summer? Road tripping to the Grand Canyon? Or maybe you are moving across the country? It’s hard to imagine a family vacation without your furbabies along for the trip! Your pet is an important part of your family, so of course, you want them to come along. The question is: should my pet be traveling with me or is it smarter to board them? The answer depends on where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and your pet’s personality. When making your travel decisions, choose what is safest and most comfortable for your pet.

Before You Go

Make sure your pet is up for the trip. Think about your pet’s personality and remember that traveling will involve exposure to new surroundings and people. If you have any doubts about whether your pet is healthy enough to handle the trip, ask us!

Bring Medical Records. Gather your pet’s medical records, medication information, and proof of vaccines before you travel. In case of an emergency while on vacation, you will need your pet’s medical documents handy. We also suggest bringing your pet’s rabies tag and treating them with flea and tick prevention before you go.

Stay on schedule. Pets get security from staying on their routine. Try to feed your pet at the same times of day as you normally would at home.

Refill your pet’s medications. If your pet needs daily medications, be sure to refill those and have them ready before your departure.

Research veterinary hospitals near your vacation destination. In case of an emergency involving your pet on vacation, you will need to be aware of the options for veterinary care.

Road Trips

Try to give your pet time to become familiar with spending time in a car before the big road trip. Just sitting with them in a parked car or taking short trips to the park or for a pup cup can help your furry friend become comfortable with the idea of riding in a car for a longer period of time.

people are traveling with dog
Tips for taking your pet on a road trip:
  • Don’t let your pet roam around in the car. No matter how much you love cuddling with your pet, avoid letting them sit in your lap when you’re behind the wheel. It can be a major distraction and potentially dangerous for both you and your furry friend.
  • Keep your pet in the back seat and in a carrier. If an airbag deploys while your pet is in the front seat, it could injure them. Keeping your pet in a carrier or a pet car seat provides extra protection for them.
  • Give your pet a light meal and plenty of rest stops. A light meal a few hours before the trip and bathroom breaks every couple of hours can prevent nausea or motion sickness for your pet.
  • Do your research to find pet-friendly hotels ahead of time! If possible, request a room on the ground floor so it is easier to take your dog out for a walk or potty break. A new and strange environment can make pets anxious or uncomfortable, so try to bring a familiar bed or blanket for them to relax and sleep with.

Air Travel

Some animals aren’t bothered by airplanes and make great travel buddies. Whether it’s your pet’s first flight or they are a professional world traveler, these tips will help ensure you both have a smooth journey!

If flying is your only option, here are a few questions to have answered before your trip:

  • Will the airline allow you to take your cat or small dog in the cabin with you?
  • Does the airline have any special pet health and vaccination requirements?
  • Does the airline require a specific type of carrier?
People in the hospital with pet
In-cabin Air Travel

Small animals are usually able to ride in the cabin during your flight. If your pet gets to fly in the cabin with you, here are some helpful tips to make the flight easier for them:

  • Use direct flights when possible. If you do have a layover, let your dog stretch its legs and use the bathroom
  • Keep extra toys and food in your carry-on in case of a flight delay.
  • Give your pet a bit of water or an ice cube during takeoff. Swallowing can help un-pop their ears while the plane is taking off.
  • Acclimate your pet to their carrier well before traveling. Entice them to use their carrier at home by placing bedding, toys, and even treats in there to help them feel comfortable with it.
Cargo Air Travel

Sometimes flying your pet in cargo is unavoidable. If your pet has to fly in the cargo hold, here are some helpful tips to make the flight easier for them:

  • Use direct flights when possible.
  • When boarding the plane, notify the captain or a flight attendant that your pet is traveling in the cargo hold.
  • Avoid flying altogether for animals with “pushed in” faces, such as bulldogs, pugs, and Persian cats.
  • Write your name, address, telephone number, and where you are traveling to on their carrier.
  • Acclimate your pet to their carrier well before traveling. Entice them to use their carrier at home by placing bedding, toys, and even treats in there to help them feel comfortable with it.
  • A light meal a few hours before leaving can help prevent nausea during the trip.

Pet Stay-cation

Traveling with your pet is a great bonding experience and lots of memories will be made! If you plan on bringing your pet with you on your family vacation, driving is typically a better option. If traveling by car isn’t an option, and you know your pet won’t do well with flying, you may decide your pet will be healthier and happier boarding. Galloway Village Veterinary is the best stay-cation for your fur babies. We have accommodations for cats and dogs of all shape and size! We offer trail walks, baths, nail trims, and dogs always have a blast playing with their new friends in the yard. Our boarding cats stay in the Cat Condos with a great view from their cat tower of all the dogs walking the trail across the street. Read more about our boarding services here!

Two dogs and a cat