Traveling with pets: Ensuring their safety and satisfaction

Travel Tips

dog in carrier

Traveling is no longer just for the two-legged members in your family. It includes those cute four-legged ones too.

As long as you and your pet meet certain requirements, most airlines now allow for pet travel. You’ll also find pet-friendly hotels around the world with all kinds of pet amenities to assure you and your furry travel buddy have the best travel experience.

Pet safety is extremely important when traveling, so be sure to follow the flying and road trip tips and tricks below so you and your travel mate make it to your destination safe and sound.

Flying with Fido

girl with dog carrier

1. Have the right kind of carrier

Know the airline’s requirements for pet carriers and make sure you meet all of them! Look it up on their website, then call them just to double check to eliminate any snafus.

2. Test the carrier before your trip

It’s a good idea to have your pet test out the carrier a month or so before your trip so they are accustomed before the two of you travel. You don’t want to deal with your pet feeling claustrophobic or anxious from being in an unfamiliar place. Try putting its carrier on the floor of the car so it feels the vibrations like it would on a plane.

3. Play with your pet

Tire out your pet by playtime or a long walk or run beforehand. The more worn out your pet is, the more likely sleeping on the flight will occur.

4. Help your pet relax

Use lavender oil as a calming association scent. Put some on your hands when you feed your pet and when the two of you go on walks before your trip so it’s used to the scent. Then you can place some drops on your pet when you fly so it relates the scent to those activities with you and will be relaxed during the flight.

4. Double check your breed can fly

Certain airlines don’t allow certain breeds of dogs and cats to fly, which means you need to check yours before booking your flight. Weight and age requirements are also something to consider.

5. Research and compare airlines

Check regulations and fees for each airline you’d consider flying to make sure you get the best deal for you and your pet. Another thing to look into is an airline’s history of flying with animals to find out how many and what kind of animal-related incidents they may have had.

6. Attach ID tags

Put ID tags with your pet’s name, as well as your contact information, on your pet’s collar and on the carrier. It’s better to double up and be safe instead of sorry in case something would happen.

7. Choose the cabin

Animals have been lost, injured and even killed in the cargo hold of planes, so it’s best when traveling by airplane to have them in the cabin with you.

Riding with Rover

family with dog

1. Go on a trial drive

Before taking that long drive to your destination, take shorter trips with your pet to see how it handles the car and the ride. Dealing with pets and carsickness isn’t fun on a road trip.

2. Stay strapped

Get a travel crate or a pet car seat for your pet. Keep them buckled up so they’re safe and not a distraction to you by roaming throughout the vehicle.

3. Heads and paws stay inside the car

Don’t let them hang their head or paws out of the window. They could fall out of the car, have ear damage, or swallow something big that causes them to choke by hanging their head and paws outside.

4. Take numerous breaks

Stop every 2-3 hours for a potty and exercise break. You need those rest stop breaks when you go on road trips, and your pet does as well.

5. Keep your pet hydrated

Always have plenty of water on hand in the car. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

6. Front seats are for humans

A deployed airbag could severely hurt your pet, even if it’s buckled and/or in a carrier, so don’t place them in the passenger seat. Keeping them in the back keeps them safe.

Now you’re prepared to travel with your pets, whether canine or  feline. As you take the necessary precautions for road trips or long distance air travel, you will both be safe and comfortable. Many IHG® hotels are pet-friendly, so be sure to book accordingly to ensure a cozy stay for you both.

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