Spring is a prime season for travel and, fortunately for animal-lovers, it’s never been easier to hit the road with your favorite dog or cat in tow. But that’s not to say that traveling with four-legged friends is necessarily easy – expect an extra commitment of time, money, and planning, all of which can add unforeseen levels of stress. But that’s not to say that traveling with pets isn’t a rewarding experience – provided you do your homework up front. Read on for 5 pro tips that can help keep your upcoming getaways pet-friendly and hassle-free.
1. Pack Smart
Make sure Fluffy or Fido is microchipped and up-to-date on his or her vaccinations and be sure to keep that paperwork handy. If you’re traveling abroad, your animal will also need his or her own pet passport, and possibly even be prepared for a brief quarantine; Even if you’re sticking closer to home, it’s worth researching different dog-friendly activities around town. Regardless, traveling can stressful for humans, and even more so for animals. Consider bringing along a “security” blanket or favorite toy, along with all of the essentials: food, water, a water bowl, leashes plastic bags, and plenty of snacks.
2. Buckle Up
No matter how much you love your animals, your fellow four-legged travelerr shouldn’t be riding shotgun, nor should s/he be roaming free, or ever left alone, in the car. Cats should definitely ride in crates secured by a seatbelt; dogs could possibly wear a harness or leash tied to something inside the vehicle, but secured crates aren’t a bad idea for doggie passengers, too. Otherwise, human and canine road-trippers bear a number of things in common – everyone appreciates opportunities to stretch their legs, regular bathroom breaks, lots of snacks and riding inside cars heated to comfortable temperatures.
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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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