1. Be sure your accommodations are pet-friendly.
Pet-friendly resorts are becoming more common, but it still can be tough to locate pet-friendly accommodations in all major travel areas. Consider checking out RedWeek's Pet-Friendly Timeshare list to start. Also, be sure to clarify all details with the resort prior to making arrangements - some have size limits or rules on what kinds of animals are permitted on property.
2. Make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations.
Just like with people, traveling to unfamiliar areas can expose your pet to health hazards that you never expected. Be sure that your pet is up to date on their vaccinations, and be sure to bring confirmation and your pet's medical history along with you. Also, if your pet is on any medications, ensure that you have a full supply before setting out.
3. Take care if traveling internationally.Traveling internationally with your pet can open you up to quite a headache. Depending on your destination, your pet may be quarantined. Thoroughly research the regulations on animals in your destination and if in doubt, instead consider leaving your pet in the care of a friend or family member or a trusted boarding service/kennel.
4. Help your pet relax.
Travel can initially be very stressful for animals that are accustomed to staying in their familiar home. To help ease their nerves, bring along a favorite toy or a blanket that smells like home. If your pet is very prone to travel anxiety, consider investing in a ThunderShirt for dogs or Feliway for cats. Both are designed to help your pet feel safe and secure.
5. Bring along a tagged collar and a photo.
In the event of an emergency where your pet escapes, you want to take every precaution to be sure that your pet finds his or her way back to you. Be sure that your pet is wearing a collar with identifying tags and have a quality photo or two of your pet on hand. Being able to ensure that others can identify your pet can make finding them much more likely.
6. Have a supply of your pet's preferred food.
Not all pet food is available everywhere, and many specialty brands are much tougher to track down than you may think. A sudden, hard switch to an unfamiliar brand could cause stomach issues for your pet - not something you want to deal with on top of the stress your pet is already experiencing. Keep things familiar and consistent and pack a food supply that will last your pet the entire duration of the trip.
7. Research your destination.
Be it a nearby dog park, a pet supply store or a local veterinarian, having a good idea of what's in the area might turn out to be a lifesaver. If you need to pick up any forgotten supplies or in the event a medical issue arises, knowing the area can save quite a bit of time. Don't be afraid to ask the resort for local references either!
Travel with your pet at your side can be fantastic experience, but some extra effort is needed to make sure everything goes seamlessly. Do you travel with your pet and have any tried-and-true tricks when hitting the road with your furry friend?