I know the stress of having to travel with a small child as I’ve been traveling with my niece since she was about 2 months old. But I never thought how stressful it could be to travel with a pet until I started traveling with my little dogs. I mean I have taken day trips with my dogs and I just grabbed the basics for the trip, little did I know what it would be like to travel with a dog on a 2 week road trip. I was constantly realizing I forgot something I needed at home, so I would have to find the nearest pet store to pick up what I was missing. Or on one trip I was calling to find the nearest Vet to my hotel when my dog got sick only to call about a dozen or so vet offices before I found one close by that was opened late. So after several years of taking my 2 little dogs with me on every trip and trying to figure out ways to make it easier on me so I didn’t forget anything, I realized I need to make a specific check list to prepare for my trips just for my little dogs, much like I do for myself or when packing for my niece. Traveling with a pet is much like traveling with a child because a pet is much like a child that they are dependent on you.
Here is my check list of what I do to prepare for any trip I’m planning-
- Find a pet friendly hotel. I make sure the hotel I’m staying at is indeed pet friendly and I read about the added pet fees/charges so there are no surprises at check in. Every pet friendly hotel is different, even within the same chain of hotels, so its good to read their Pet Policy before you arrive. I will also call the hotel and make sure they do know I am traveling with my pet so they are prepared for my arrival at check in.
- Check your pets Vaccination Records. I make sure they are current on all shots, if not I make sure they are current at least 72 hours prior to leaving. I stop by my Vet’s office to make sure there isn’t something needed for where I’m traveling to such as Flea & Tick preventatives and to make sure my dogs microchips are still able to be scanned and working.
- Research where you are traveling. Make sure you are able to find pet friendly places to take your pet with you since most hotels don’t allow pets to be left unaccompanied in the room. If the place you are planning on seeing isn’t pet friendly, do a little research and find the closest doggy daycare or pet boarding facility so you can make arrangements for your pet; so you don’t worry about them while you are doing what you want to do. Find out what Vet offices are close by incase anything should happen, so you have an idea of where you can take them. Make sure to read local laws, for example a friend was traveling with her Pit Bull and she was unable to visit her friends in the Denver area as she had planned because Pit Bulls are banned within city limits and an off duty officer let her know about the ban and the fact that they are not welcomed in the city.
- A packing list of essentials items needed for the trip. Each trip is different and you should pack according to how long you are gone for and where you are going.
My Basic Packing List for my 2 little dogs-
- Shot Records
- Current Photo of my Dogs
- 4 Water Bowls (1 for the Hotel & 1 for the Car for each Dog)
- 4 Food Dishes (1 for Dry Food & 1 for Canned Food for each Dog)
- 2 Dog Beds (1 for each Dog)
- 1 Blanket
- 2 Back up Leashes & Collars plus a set they are wearing
- Dry Dog Food (enough to last your trip + 1 extra day)
- Canned Dog Food (enough to last your trip + 1 extra day)
- Dog Treats
- Puppy Pads (for the hotel in case of an potty accident)
- Doggy waste baggies
- 2-3 of my Dogs favorite toys
- Basic Pet First Aid Kit
- Dog Shampoo
When I pack for my trips, I always plan for emergencies. So I always take an extra day of food, extra set of leashes and collars, Pet First Aid kit, Photos and Dog Shampoo. I have learned from many of my trips, things don’t always go as planned and stuff may happen so it is best to be prepared for any situation. Trust me you don’t want to have to make a midnight run to the only opened drug store to buy Dog Shampoo after your dog was accidentally peed on by another dog.
Please do not ever leave a pet unattendant in a car, no matter the temperature outside.
Remember when traveling with your pet, make sure they are traveling safely in the vehicle.