Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

Traveling with your dogThis is a joyful time of year — holiday parties, family gatherings and visits with friends cover the calendar. For many pet owners, spending the holidays away from their pets in inconceivable. With a bit of planning you can ensure that everyone—including the furry members of the family—has a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are a few helpful tips to make sure your holiday is a merry one!

A Place to Stay

If you will be staying with family or friends, make sure they are comfortable having your pet as a guest. Be sure to ask them about any restricted areas or rules that will need to be followed during your stay. If you are staying in a hotel, make sure to let them know your pet will be joining you, and also verify that you can comply with their pet policy.

In the Car

For your pet’s safety and yours, it is important that he or she is properly secured in a carrier, crate or seat belt harness while you’re driving. Acclimating your pet to their carrier or harness before your drip will ensure the ride goes smoothly. For more information on traveling with your pet in the car, these suggestions may help: Traveling with Pets in the Car Over the Holidays. If your pet has a tendency to get sick in the car, these suggestions may help: Planning a Trip with Pets Who Get Car Sick.

Best Behavior

It can be exciting for our pets traveling to new places, smelling new scents and new people. However, understanding what’s allowed in a new environment can be confusing for your furry friend. Help them impress your hosts by brushing up on their basic obedience skills before you leave.

Quality Entertainment

If your pet has a favorite toy that keeps him or her entertained at home, be sure to pack it for your trip! There may be times when you would like your pet to quietly occupy himself or herself, and having something familiar to focus her attention will definitely help.

A Quiet Space

The busyness of holiday activities can be exhausting — for both us and our pets! Provide your pet with a peaceful place to relax away from all the commotion by bringing his or her bed or crate. For pets with anxiety, consider playing music from Through a Dog’s (or Cat’s) Ear to help alleviate stress and keep them calm.

Beware of Spoilage

With all the holiday food and cheer, pets are often fed things they shouldn’t be during the holidays. Foods like chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions and alcohol can all be extremely toxic for your furry friend. Simply eating foods he’s not used to can lead to gastrointestinal distress. Be sure to pack plenty of pet foods for your trip. Consider packing dehydrated pet foods that are light and take up little space, can easily be mixed up with just hot water, and provide your pet with a warm, human-grade meal he’ll love.

Stay on Schedule

Something as simple as feeding and exercising your pet at their usual times can reduce their anxiety. Consider setting an alarm to remind you of your pet’s feeding time, and use their daily walks to enjoy a little one-on-one time.

Just in Case

Pets can easily slip out of the door in a flash, so be sure your pet’s ID tags have a phone number where you can be contacted while you’re traveling.

It can also be helpful to carry a picture of your pet, in the event you need to make posters. Also, it is critical you have your pet’s veterinary records with you in the event of an illness or injury. However, it might be difficult lugging around a large file, so consider making a paper copy of current vaccination records and scan the rest of the information for storage on an easy-to-pack USB drive.

Keep Your Cool

Common emotions among many around the holidays include over-excitement, anxiety and stress. Remember that your pet will pick up on your feelings, so relax, stay calm and have fun!


These are just a few tips on how to travel with your pet over the holiday. If you are traveling but can’t bring your pet, All Pets Veterinary Medical Center provides boarding facilities for our clients as well! For more information, feel free to contact us with the link below!

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