Traveling With Pets: How To Avoid Disaster

Traveling with pets can be a fun and exciting way to get to your destination, particularly on a road trip. Dogs, especially, often enjoy being in the car and feeling the breeze from the open window on their faces. If you’re journeying to a place where you can have some bonding time with your pet -- such as a campsite or hiking spot -- all the better! This is a great way to create memories and to show your pet a happy, healthy life outside the house.

As with everything, however, traveling with pets can have a downside. There are lots of things to consider, from their safety and health needs to making sure your accommodations can handle your pet without issue. You’ll also want to ensure that you’re prepared for any problems that might arise such as car sickness, meeting other pets during the trip, or being around small children. The more you can work with your pet beforehand and teach him behavioral skills, the better off both of you will be.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re ready for a fun trip with your four-legged bestie.

Be prepared to clean up

Cleaning up after your pup might be a chore you hardly give much thought to at home. When you’re on the road or staying with someone else, however, it can be much more problematic and requires some planning. Make sure you’re prepared with waste bags, paper towels, carpet cleaning spray, and trash bags, as well as anything you might need to clean your car with if he gets dirty. If your dog sheds quite a bit, you might even think about bringing along a compact vacuum cleaner that will help you keep things tidy. These days, there are many options available
for pet owners, and it may keep you out of the dog house when you’re staying with relatives.

Look for dog-friendly accommodations

While many establishments have become more accepting of pet travelers, some hotels and rentals don’t allow certain breeds, and others don’t allow pets at all. Check to make sure your accommodations are pet-friendly, and get all the details before you arrive. They may allow dogs but only up to a certain size, or they might require a pet deposit to ensure that any damage during your stay is covered.
An alternative option to staying in a hotel is renting a vacation home. Ideally, you could rent a home with a yard so your pup can get in his daily exercise. Consider your location as well. A beachfront home in Los Angeles could be the perfect spot to exercise your dog, and it’s a family-friendly destination as well. Or you could stay in the Silverlake area which is known for its hiking trails and beautiful views.

Pack smart

It’s important to make sure you pack well for your trip with your pet in mind. Not only will you want to keep him safe, you’ll need to make sure he has everything he needs to stay healthy, especially if you’re going to be doing activities like hiking or swimming together. Don’t forget a brush for grooming, a high-visibility harness or collar, and paw protection, as well as a collapsible bowl for water and another for food. If he tends to wander, a strong leash will be of the utmost importance, and make sure his tag is up-to-date with your information should you become separated.

Will your pet travel well?

If you’ve never traveled with your pet before, take some time to make sure he’s going to be okay with the trip before you head out. A long road trip can be torturous for a dog with lots of energy or a tendency to become carsick, so let him hop in and take a short trip around town to see how he reacts. Smaller dogs of a breed with a pushed-in face -- such as a pug -- can become very ill during air travel because it’s hard for them to breathe, so you’ll want to clear it with the vet first.

Other pets may become very nervous on a plane without you at their side, so the more you can train your companion and get him ready for the trip, the better.
Traveling with pets can be a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to bond with your fur-baby, especially if you haven’t been together very long. The key is to make sure you’re well prepared, and that you’ll be able to keep him safe and cared-for the entire trip.


With a little planning, you and your pet will have a blast.


Nick Burton