Pet Travel Tips


By Diane Tait

Image courtesy of pixabay
While Floridians don’t spend much time dashing through the snow, they do frequently dash down the highway during December is to spend time with relatives.  If this takes them far from home, then it frequently forces them to deal with their pets.  Since many of my clients own pets, I thought I’d take the time to give you the scoop on what to do with your pets this holiday season if you plan on being away from home for more than a day.

Take Them With You

While you may not be able to take your aquarium full of fish on the road with you, for the most part it’s possible to bring along other pets provided you do your homework first.  Today there are numerous pet-friendly hotels and motels that will permit you to take your dogs, cats or other critters with you on the road, provided you and they follow the rules.

1.      Be up front with management about the number, size and disposition of your pet when you make the reservation.  Don’t wait until the last minute to tell them that you and your rottweiler named Cannibal will be staying on the premises overnight. 
2.      Ask for a ground floor room since this will make it easier for you to walk your dog when the need arises.  This will also help keep the neighbors below you from complaining about your dog running back and forth over their heads when they’re trying to sleep.
3.      Even if your dog has a sweet disposition, I recommend putting a muzzle on it when you bring the dog through the lobby and hallways, since the last thing you want is to blunder into another dog or even worse a cat on your way to and/or from your room.  Always keep your dog and cat on a leash when out of your room.
4.      If you do have a cat, make sure you request extra trash bags, so you can keep your room from smelling like a petting zoo.
5.      If you have other caged pets, such as birds, mice, gerbils, or guinea pigs, let management know about this ahead of time as well.  Especially birds or guinea pigs can become quite vocal, which can disturb other guests.  Make sure you bring a cover for their cages, so they aren’t as likely to become spooked by being kept in a strange place overnight.
6.      If you plan on taking your animals on a train or a plane, ask for and strictly adhere to the airline or Amtrak transport regulations or you and your pets could find yourself grounded before the trip even starts.

The Pet Sitters

Image courtesy of pixabay
One alternative to taking your animals along for the ride is to hire a pet sitter.  While this can consist of a fried, neighbor or relative to watch over and feed your menagerie, unless they plan on staying for the duration of your trip in your home, it’s probably better to seek professional help.

Just as you can find kennels galore to board your animals, if you do a quick web search you will find scads of listings for pet sitters.  These come in two varieties:

1.      The kind that come to you.  If that’s the case, you need to verify that the person is bonded, since they will have access to your home. Make sure you also check out their reviews online to find out in advance whether you are likely to be wowed or disappointed by their efforts.
2.      The kind that requires you to bring your pets to them.  I have a friend in Daytona who runs a business she calls Club Pet, where she boards dogs in her home.  Unlike a traditional kennel where pets are caged or otherwise segregated for the duration of their stay, dogs boarded at CP hang out with the pack.  They get to play in a big gated backyard, sleep in a king-size feather bed and take twice daily walks with the pack through a picturesque park. 

The Kennel Club

Image courtesy of pixabay
      1.      For many, the idea of putting their pets in a kennel is kind of like putting their kids in jail.  While old-school kennels still abound, there are plusher options that are much more pet-friendly.
      2.      Doggie day care facilities are designed to house, care for and feed pets on a short-term basis. 
      3.      Pet hotels can accommodate pets for longer stays and can be nearly as elaborate as those fit for humans.  Some upscale kennels offer accommodations that include dog beds, TV and toys galore.   Other upscale kennels still house pets in traditional cages overnight but have indoor and outdoor play areas where dogs can cavort with other dogs during the day.  Obviously, the more elaborate the kennel, the higher the price.  But if you consider your dog your baby, a puppy palace is sure to ease the anxiety associated with being away from home when you need to travel.
      4.      Some deluxe kennels even have web cams that allow you to see your dog or cat in real time.  This will help you reduce the anxiety associated with boarding them and it will let you know whether you want to employ the facility for a future trip.

      5.      The best pet hotels also have a staff large enough to supervise and play with pets in their care.   Again, the best way to find the right fit for you and your pets is to scope out the available accommodations online, then stop by for a visit and a tour before booking your pet a reservation.

Regardless of whether you plan on being away for a couple of days or a week, there is always an appropriate solution to dealing with your pets while you travel.

Diane Tait owns and operates A&B Insurance.  To find out more about how you can save money on renter’s insurance, go to her site or fill out the form at right.

Comments

  1. There are a lot more options for pets these days than there used to be a few years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ahhhh... What to do with the pets when your travel to Grandma's house for the holidays? Thanks for the tips. You just saved me some money.

    ReplyDelete

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