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How to Travel with a Pet

A photo of a girl and her yellow lab sitting on a rocky beach.
Published on: November 9, 2017

Here, there and everywhere!

We love our pets. From an excited slobbery dog-kiss to that quiet moment the cat chooses your lap to sit on, they bring joy to our lives. In a perfect world, we’d be able to take them everywhere. While only a lucky few can bring their pets to work with them, travel with a pet is possible for anyone. Skip the pet sitter this holiday season and check out the various ways to bring your pet with you!

Travel by car

A photo of a happy black dog in the backseat of a car.There are some beautiful places across the country, and one of the best ways to see them is on a road trip. The car is also one of the more convenient ways to travel with a pet. It’s easy to keep an eye on your cat or dog since they’re in the car with you. You can stop when needed for potty breaks, for either you or your companion. And there are plenty of places to stop and explore along the way. However, it’s important to keep safety in mind while in the car. Some kind of restraint should always be used for pets. For a closer look at different methods to keep your cat or dog restrained in the car, take a look at our vehicle safety blog post.

Travel by plane

A photo of a cat sitting in a suitcase, which isn't a way to travel with a pet.Travel with a pet by plane isn’t as easy, but still possible! Smaller dogs and cats can often travel in the cabin of the plane with an adult passenger. Larger dogs have to travel as “checked baggage” in the cargo hold of the plane. In both cases, you will need a pet carrier that is airline compliant. The requirements for a carrier can vary between airlines, so it’s always best to contact the airline you plan to travel with first. Pettravel.com is also a great resource with airline pet policies available for over 160 different companies. In addition to the carrier, it’s a good idea to get some calming supplements or treats before the trip. Travel is stressful, so a good calming aid can help your pet relax during the flight.

International travel with a pet

A photo of a poodle with a hitchhiker's sign for Hamburg.Plan to leave the country on your travels? Don’t worry, there are still options for your pet! It all depends on where you go. Pet regulations are specific to each country, so you’ll have to brush up on the rules for whatever countries you plan to visit. Once you know where you’ll go and that they’re okay with pets, put together a pet passport for your cat or dog. Any identifying and required documents your pet needs to enter your destination country should go in their “passport.” Before your trip, make sure to schedule an appointment with your regular vet as well. Ask them about health risks abroad, like rabies, and if your pet needs vaccinations before you go. If you don’t have one already, consider a microchip for an added level of safety.

Where you stay

A photo of a cat on a couch. Always check with whoever you're lodging with before you travel with a pet.Whether you plan to stay with friends and family or at a hotel, make sure to check with them first! While your pet is probably amazing, you shouldn’t bring them along without verifying they can stay with you. Your friend might have allergies or the hotel might have a no-pets policy, so you could get stuck paying an expensive boarding fee somewhere. Once you’ve received the okay, research the area for a pet store that carries your cat or dog’s regular food. Even if you bring food with you, you might run out. You can also look for dog-friendly parks and attractions to visit together!

Travel with a pet isn’t always possible, but we hope these tips help you and your companion animal have more adventures together. If you have any questions about pet carriers, calming aids, vehicle restraints or food options, feel free to ask a team member at your local Wag N’ Wash. Safe travels!

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