When you’re a pet owner, there’s no such thing as a spontaneous vacation. There’s meticulous planning required for every trip you go on—sometimes even day trips! Before you leave all your vacation preparations for the very last week leading up to your departure, consider your role as a pet owner and the responsibilities it brings. With a pet owner’s guide to taking a vacation, you won’t feel like you’re forgetting something as you leave for the airport or highway.
Finding Care for Your Pet
Right when you mark the date of your vacation on your calendar, you must consider who will take care of your pets while you’re away. Whether you leave animals in a family member’s or friend’s care, they need to know as soon as possible to avoid scheduling conflicts. Cats are usually fine with just a daily visit or two from a neighbor, but dogs will need someone to stay with while you’re away to avoid accidents in the house and getting lonely.
If you’re considering boarding your animals, make sure to plan weeks or months in advance—especially with dogs. Choosing the right boarding service takes time; you need the opportunity to take a tour of the facilities and get to know everything about the care they offer. Take time to meet the staff, research reviews, and weigh your options long before your vacation date.
Traveling With Your Pet
The next section of the pet owner’s guide to taking a vacation is for anyone who has decided to bring their furry family member along for the ride. Taking your pet with you is a good idea if you’re visiting family—you’ll have the chance to let your family meet the pet that has impacted your life for the better.
Before you leave, make sure that everything along the route is pet-friendly. This includes flights, hotels, and rest areas. Ensure that you follow the proper procedures for each location you go to, including kennel requirements and extra fees. If you need daycare or pet boarding at your destination, set it up before you leave home.
For those who take their pets on a long road trip, remember to keep your animals in their kennels anytime the vehicle is moving. Allow dogs to take bathroom breaks at rest areas and always remember to use a leash. Cats don’t need to leave their kennel during the trip if they’re comfortable—make sure to leave them with towels or blankets and a small, secure litterbox. They’ll have time to stretch when you reach your destination or a pet-friendly hotel.