Pets are members of the family. We want them with us on summer road trips and visits to see family over the holidays. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over two million animals travel on commercial flights each year. We just can’t bear to leave them behind! But are you ready to travel with your pet? Before you bring your pet on your next trip, make sure they are ready to travel. These travel tips and products will ensure smooth and safe travels for you and your pet. Read up on these travel tips and check out our recommendations for pet travel gear to ensure smooth and safe travels for you and your pet.
Flying with Your Pet
- A plastic travel kennel is key: Unfortunately, pets larger than 15 pounds cannot accompany you in the airplane cabin meaning they will travel in a special area in the cargo hold. A durable hard plastic kennel (i.e. not wire or mesh), such as the Petmate Vari Kennel is vital to their safety. Plastic dog kennels are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles (the latter two might make it easier to identify your pet among other kennels). Make sure your pet can fully stand up and turn around inside the kennel. You know how cramped an economy seat on a plane can feel. Make sure your dog doesn't feel cramped in his kennel too. Check out different sizes of plastic sky kennels for a comfortable flight. Our dog kennel guide can help you choose the right size.
- Display proper identification: Have your name, phone number, home and destination address, pet’s name, and any medical considerations prominently displayed on the kennel. Furthermore, many airlines require documentation from a veterinarian declaring your pet is healthy enough to fly.
- Try to book a non-stop flight: Flying is stressful enough for your pet without having to be loaded in and out of the cargo area twice.
- Do not sedate your pet: There are potential heart and respiratory problems associated with the use of sedatives in dogs during air travel. It could also prevent them from keeping their balance within the kennel resulting in injury.
- Each airline has its own guidelines for pet travel: Make sure to check your airline’s individual policy before planning to fly with your pet. Their rules are in place for the safety of your pet.
Road Trips with Your Pet
- Secure your pet in the vehicle: Pets can get very excited (or nervous) when in the car. It’s important that your pet is safely secured so you can keep your focus on the road. Consider using a pet travel harness as they are designed to secure dogs in the back seat. Depending on your pet’s size, Pop-Up Barriers and Booster Seats are an option while plastic kennels are ideal for cats and smaller dogs. Don't forget the seat covers! Seat covers not only keep seats clean but helps keep your car free from odor.
- Pack food, water, bowls: Pets need road snacks, too! Be sure to pack your pet’s food and provide plenty of water throughout the trip. Serve them in collapsible Petmate Travel Bowls that fold in flat for easy packing. Even is you're only going on a day-long outing with your pet, a travel bowl is still a good idea.
- Stop every 3-4 hours: You might be able to hammer out 8 hours behind the wheel, but your pet has different needs. Plan to stop every few hours to let your pet stretch its legs (and do its business). You will be more refreshed for the road ahead as well.
- Bring a favorite toy: Are we there yet? Yes, dogs get bored on long road trips. By packing a favorite toy, you provide entertainment and an added sense of security.
Lodging with Your Pet
- Time to relax: It can be an adjustment for pets to sleep in an unfamiliar setting. When bringing their bed from home isn’t an option, a travel bed like the Chuckit! Travel Bed that packs up easily. If this particular one is conducive to your dog's preferred sleeping style, we've got plenty of other travel dog bed options to choose from.
- A home away from home: Some pets prefer to rest in the security of a kennel. The Petmate Portable Pet Home is a lightweight and easily portable option when you aren’t bringing a hard plastic kennel along. We also carry a variety of softsided carriers and portable pet homes to ensure maximum comfort and security for your pet.
- For more information on pet travel, read Dr. Marty Becker’s Smart Tips for Traveling with Your Pet.