Tips For Traveling With Pets: Lodging & Transportation
Whether it’s to visit family, explore new cities or an out-of-town adventure, it can be tough for pet parents to leave their pets behind. There’s nothing quite like sharing an adventure with your pup or sleeping soundly with the knowledge that your furry family member is safe at your side, and many companies – from airlines to restaurants – welcome pets with open arms. But traveling with pets always requires extra planning to ensure the experience is positive for everyone. Here are some tips for traveling with pets this summer.
Find a Pet-Friendly Hotel
The hospitality industry has truly begun to embrace pet-owners’ desire to travel with their four-legged family members. There are many pet-friendly hotels in Maryland that don’t only allow pets to join their owners, but that offer special packages for Fluffy and Fido, too.
For instance, The Hotel at Arundel Preserve’s Bark & Stay Package is open to dogs of all sizes and even includes food and water bowls, canine welcome treats and a dog toy at check-in. If you plan on traveling with your pet, make it a priority to find a hotel that will welcome your best bud as warmly as they welcome you.
General Tips for Traveling with Pets
Whether your pet is joining you for pleasure or necessity, you’ll need to take some steps to prepare. Here are basic tips for traveling with pets, regardless of how or where you’ll be arriving.
Make a pet travel kit. Bring food, a bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first aid supplies. It’s easy to keep all of this in a single bag you can grab anytime you’re headed out with your pet for an extended period.
Identify your pet. Ideally, your pet is microchipped, but you also want to make sure they have a collar and ID tag with your current contact information. For longer trips and vacations, consider a temporary tag with the phone number of your destination in case your pet gets lost while traveling.
Make a vet appointment. Schedule appointments well in advance to ensure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations before traveling and always carry their health records and other important documents with you while you’re away. Note: If you’re traveling across state or international borders, a health certificate may be required in addition to proof of vaccination.
Plan meals around travel time. It’s best to feed your pet a light meal two to three hours before departure to prevent complications due to excitement, stress or motion sickness.
Tips for Traveling with Pets in a Car
Traveling with a pet by car involves more than just loading up in the back seat and motoring off, especially if you will be traveling a long distance or plan to be away for a long time. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a safe, smooth drive.
Pack plenty of water. Just like humans, pets need to remain hydrated, especially when facing potentially stressful situations such as meeting new people, experiencing new sights and smells or extended travel time. Opt for bottled water, as drinking water from an unfamiliar area could result in stomach discomfort.
Prepare your car. There are many car seats and floor covers that protect your car and add comfort for your pet. If you find yourself frequently traveling with your furry friend, you may want to invest in one of these.
Practice with your pet. If your pet isn’t used to spending lots of time in the car, take him or her on a series of drives before the big day. Start with quick rides and gradually extend the amount of time spent in the car to help them become more comfortable in a moving vehicle.
Prioritize safety. Use a well-ventilated crate or carrier large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around. Secure the crate so it doesn’t slide or shift in the event of an abrupt stop. If a crate isn’t an option, connect a seatbelt to your pet’s harness using a special attachment made for this purpose.
Stay close. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a health hazard in a matter of minutes. In cold weather a car can retain frigid air, leading to hypothermia.
Plan the route. Plan your route to include opportunities for frequent bathroom breaks and time for your pet to get a little exercise before packing it back in and heading down the road. This may mean the trip takes longer than usual, but it’s well worth it for everyone.
Keep heads inside. There’s no denying what a joy it is to see a happy pup riding down the road with his head out the window, ears flopping in the wind. However, the risks of this practice far outweigh the adorable, tail-wagging benefits. In addition to the potential of being struck by debris or another vehicle, an animal can easily be thrown out of a window in the event of a collision or unexpected turn.
Tips for Traveling with Pets on an Airplane
Unless your furry friend is small enough to fit in a carry-on bag, it’s probably easiest to avoid air travel with pets. However, sometimes it just has to be done. If you must bring your pet on a plane, here are a few suggestions to keep him or her safe and comfortable while flying the friendly skies.
Learn the rules. Thoroughly review all pet travel regulations from your airline well in advance. For travel outside of the continental United States, additional planning and health care requirements may be necessary. Contact the foreign office of your destination country for more information.
Visit the vet. Obtain a travel certification from your vet that clears your pet to fly and indicates all health records are up to date. Use this time to discuss ways to help your pet relax if you suspect he or she may be afraid, anxious or uncomfortable during the flight.
Chose the right crate. If your pet has to fly in the cargo hold, use an airline-approved pet carrier large enough for them to stand, sit and turn around comfortably.
Prepare the crate. Mark the outside of the crate “live animal,” and write your name, contact information and destination as well. Line the crate with bedding to absorb any accidents. It is also advisable to tape a small pouch of dried food onto the crate in case the full stash happens to get lost with your luggage or your pet needs a snack during a layover.
Book a direct flight. And speaking of layovers, avoid them if possible. This decreases stress on your beloved pet as well as the chances that he or she is left on the tarmac in extreme weather conditions or mishandled during loading and unloading.
Communicate with airline staff. Tell the airline staff about your pet in flight as soon as you arrive at the airport. Share that your pet is in the cargo hold with every airline employee you encounter—on the ground and in the air. If the plane is delayed or if you have any concerns about the welfare of your pet, it is not unreasonable to ask that airline staff check on him or her. In fact, you can insist on it.
Book Your Stay at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve
The Hotel at Arundel Preserve is among the premier pet-friendly hotels in Maryland and the perfect place to stay with your four-legged friend this summer. You’ll love our luxurious accommodations, and our Bark & Stay Package will make Fido feel at home in no time. Plus, our proximity to BWI Airport and all major Maryland roadways makes us a convenient choice for anyone visiting from out of town. Contact us today to learn more about our pet policy or to book your stay.