Spring is coming, which means that vacations, either with a family, a loved one, or even alone, are starting to be planned for the summer. For a lot of families, everyone gets to come on the trip – including the family pet. This article will be a compilation of information on how to safely and successfully travel with your pet, including air and car travel, accommodations, and some tips and tricks. Travelling with pets will take some extra planning, but it will definitely be worth it once you’re done. Safe travels!
Travelling with pets: Flying
If you plan on flying to your vacation destination with a pet, here is a simple tip to help you out:
Check out your designated airline’s website for specific information on the company’s pet policies while on board one of their flights. The rules may change slightly depending on the air travel company, so even if you’ve travelled with a pet before with a different company, it’s still important to check the website of the airline you’re flying with. It’s also very important to check if your airline allows pets onboard their aircrafts. For example, Sunwing does not allow travelling with pets that are not service dogs onboard their aircrafts.
And if you are flying with your pet this summer, please be aware that flying is not always the best choice for your animal. Air travel can be particularly dangerous for animals with brachycephalic, or ‘pushed in’ faces, such as Persian cats or pugs. Due to the structure of their faces, their nasal passages are quite short, and the lack of air while flying can make them easy targets for issues, such as oxygen deprivation and heat stroke. If possible, leave your pet with a trusted family member, loved one or kennel while you are away.
Travelling with pets: Driving
If you are planning on taking a road trip while travelling with pets, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind during your travels. Below is a short list of some things to remember:
- Make sure to keep your cat in a carrier at all times and ensure a seat belt is securely holding the crate in place. This is to ensure your cat feels safe while in the car, due to the fact cats generally don’t feel comfortable in cars. The same rule applies to your dog; as much as your dog may enjoy hanging their head out of the car window, a crate is where they will be safest and the most secure during your journey.
- Ensure your pet is sitting somewhere other than the passengers seat in the front of the car. If an airbag deploys with your pet in the front seat, your pet can easily suffocate or sustain serious injury.
- Make sure to allow for stops so your pet has time to stretch its legs, use the washroom, and move around during your journey. This will make your trip slightly longer, but giving your pets rest stops along the way will help them feel safe, cared for and energized.
It is just as important to find a pet-friendly place to stay while on vacation, as it is to use pet-friendly tactics while getting to your destination. This step can seem a bit overwhelming, especially if you have other accommodations to take care of. However, you should save yourself the headache by contacting your hotel or Airbnb prior to arrival. Below are a few resources to also help alleviate the initial stress regarding this topic:
- petfriendly.ca – If you’re travelling somewhere in Canada with your pet this summer, this website is definitely for you. It’s a giant collection of all pet-friendly accommodations across Canada, including hotels, motels, resorts and cottages. Simply click on the province or territory you will be travelling to on the homepage of the website, and you will find a myriad of accessible accommodations for any type of vacation.
- bringfido.com – This website is a wonderful resource if you are travelling anywhere worldwide. The process is simple; you type in exactly what you need (the amount of people in your party, how many rooms you need and where you are travelling to, just to name a few), and the website will show you lots of accommodation options to choose from.