If you have a pet, you know that it can be difficult to decide just what to do with them when you go on a trip. Should you bring them with you, leave them with friends, or ask a family member to pop in every day and check on them? The decision is often a hard one, not least because sometimes it feels as though none of the solutions are quite right. Check out some of our tips for bringing your pets with you on vacation, as well as ideas for making sure they are well cared for when left behind.
Travelling by Car
- For nearby trips such as the cottage or a nearby relative’s house, it’s often quite easy to bring your pet along. In order to make this as painless as possible, consider crate-training your puppy from a young age. That way, they can sit comfortably and quietly in the back seat, without interrupting your drive.
- It is often helpful to give them a favourite toy or blanket, to help them feel more comfortable.
- If you’re planning to be driving for several hours, make sure to bring some water and treats along so they don’t get too thirsty!
- You may also want to pack their leash somewhere accessible, so that you can make a roadside pit stop, if need be.
Travelling by Plane
- If you’re going on a longer trip, the cost and inconvenience of bringing your pets with you can skyrocket. Depending on which airline you are planning to travel with, the cost of bringing a pet can vary. Generally, it can cost you somewhere between $90-$800 per pet, depending on a variety of factors.
- You will also want to decide whether your dog can and will travel in the passenger area with you, or if they will make the journey in the cargo area below.
- Before you decide to bring your dog with you, remember that travelling, especially in the cargo hold, can be very frightening, stressful, and uncomfortable for your dog! That is not to say that you should never bring pets with you, but you may want to hold off on bringing them along on an excessive number of trips, or if it is not really necessary.
- If your dog will be travelling in the cargo area, make sure you get him a properly sized crate (he should be able to lie down comfortably, as well as stand up and turn around).
- It is also important to use a “this side up” label, so that handlers will know how to position your pet.
- Depending on your destination, your pet may need certain vaccinations in order to accompany you. You can check this information with your vet.
- Most importantly, make sure to call the airline ahead of time to make sure you have all the information you need in order to bring your pet safely and comfortably!
Leaving your Dog Behind
- For those trips when you aren’t bringing your canine companion with you, there are several different options to choose from to ensure that your dog will be well looked after.
- On short day-trips, it is often possible to simply leave your dog to their own devices for the day. Make sure to let them out before you leave, and fill up their food and water bowls. For them, this will feel much the same as it does when you leave them at home for work!
- On longer trips, you can still opt to leave your dogs at home, so that they will be in an environment that they are familiar with. Ask a friend or relative to check in on them once a day, take them for walks, feed and water them, and give them a bit of socialization.
- If leaving your dogs at home isn’t an option, you can also ask friends or family members to baby-sit your pets at their own house while you are gone. Make sure to give them instructions so that they’ll know what to do, from how much food to provide to how to stop Rover from barking at every neighbour that passes by!
- If your dogs are more high maintenance, or you don’t have anyone who is able to look after your pets, consider putting them up in a kennel. There are several places that offer overnight accommodation for your pups, and you can check online reviews to ensure that they will be well looked after. When you find a place you’re happy with, consider using the same one every time. That way, your dog will be returning to familiar environments, instead of having to adapt each time!