Avid travelers are often stuck with the hard decision of whether or not to adopt a pet. Fetch on the beach, camping, and hikes are so much fun with a furry friend, but logistics can be tricky. For the deep-hearted animal lover, kenneling a pet is painful and airlines are still working out the kinks for those traveling with a dog. So, what are our options when we want to bring our pet along for the adventure?
Car Travel With Pets
A road trip is the answer! Road trips are a win-win for all because not only do dogs love car rides, but having them nearby gives you peace of mind. Not to mention, if you’re a solo traveler, pets can provide added security against predatory animals or other danger. Even still, they’re called fur babies for a reason, so it’s important to be sure you have the proper tools for a pet-friendly road trip.
Pet-Friendly Road Trip Checklist
- Car Carrier, Harness, or Dog Car Seat
- Car Seat Cover
- Leash with Body Harness
- Water and Food Dishes
- Food, Treats, and Drinking Water
- Pet Waste Bags
- Portable Littler Tray (for cats)
- Pet Bed
- Pet Backpack (for small dogs and cats)
- Any medications or vet remedies for car sickness or anxiety (just in case)
- Up-to-date ID and Vaccination Tags
- Carpet Cleaner if staying at a hotel (just in case)
- Towel to dry pet after water play or rain
- Number for National Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435
Traveling Internationally With Pets
Traveling with a pet to another country comes with additional to-dos. Typically, island destinations like Australia or Hawaii have the most intense laws regulating pet travel, however, since we’re talking about a road trip, Americans considering travel to Canada or Mexico will need to have their pet microchipped with up-to-date vaccinations (especially rabies) and a pet passport or health certificate, among other things.
Pet Safety During Road Trips
There is much fun to be had during your road trip, but when traveling from point A to B, it’s important to know a few safety tips and laws. First, for your safety and your pet’s, it is important to have your pet secure in a dog car seat or pet harness, so they’re not interfering with your driving or at risk in case of an accident. It’s also good for your pet’s wellbeing to make stops every couple of hours, so they can use the bathroom and move around.
Additionally, leaving your dog in the car is incredibly dangerous; so dangerous that states like Arizona, Nevada, New York, and Minnesota have made laws against it. California Penal Code 597.7 states that it is illegal to, “leave or confine an animal to any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of the animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability or death to the animal.”
Some pet owners may opt for pet insurance as added protection against pet injury or illness while traveling. Companies like Progressive offer policies which pay partly or in total for veterinary treatment and can even cover pet death or theft.
Pet Friendly Destinations
There are a number of pet friendly vacation rentals and hotel chains available to those road-tripping with their dog or cat. Be sure, however, to check for any breed regulations and fee information when choosing your accommodations.
Dog Friendly Hotels
- Motel 6
- Holiday Inn
- Marriott Hotels
- Hilton Hotels
- Best Western
- Choice Hotels
- Hampton Inn
- Four Seasons
- The Ritz-Carlton
Note: Most US locations are pet-friendly, but not all. Make sure to confirm before booking a room!
Camping with your Pet
For the truly outdoorsy pet owner, camping with a dog is the closest thing to experiencing nature like a true explorer! While roughing it with your furry friend, be sure you have researched pet-friendly parks and campgrounds and have a thorough understanding of their rules; this usually includes keeping your pet on a leash at all times, not leaving your pet unattended, and keeping barking under control.