In the United States alone, over 60 million households have one
or more pets. Pet owners in 15 million of those households
travel with their pet, and the majority stay in pet-friendly
lodging. Fortunately, pet friendly hotels, condos and vacation
home rentals do exist. If you will be traveling with your pet,
here are some pet friendly tips to remember for safe and trouble-
1. When you make your reservation, double-check that pets are
allowed. An important advantage of reserving online is that you
can see - in writing - whether or not pets are permitted and any
restrictions. Online, you can print out your reservation receipt
that includes the "pets allowed" information. Verbal
reservations leave more room for misunderstanding and
miscommunication. If reserving by telephone, ask the reservation
person to mail you a confirmation receipt that includes the “pets
2. Is your pet an experienced traveler? If not, you should
begin getting your pet more accustomed to traveling. Begin by
making your car a fun place for your pet. Get in the car with
them, play with them, give them a treat have them enjoy being
there with you. Then take a short drive with them. Gradually
increase the length of time and distance that you drive with
them. Before making a long trip with your pet, the idea is to
have them comfortable with being in the car for extended periods
3. Remember that securing your pet while traveling in the car is
crucial for their safety and yours. Consider purchasing a dog
safety harness for your pet to use while traveling in the car.
If you have a station wagon or SUV, you can purchase a vehicle
barrier that keeps your pet confined to the rear area. They are
usually sold at pet stores or are available online.
4. Be sure that your pet has an identification tag and wears it
while on the trip. The tag should have your pet's name, your
name and phone number. If possible, use your cell phone number,
a home number and the number of where you will be staying.
5. Carry a photograph of your pet with you on your trip. If
your pet should ever become lost, you’ll be able to show others
exactly what your pet looks like instead of just relying on a
6. Check with your vet for any recommended vaccinations
appropriate for your trip - exposure to ticks while hiking,
exposure to other dogs while boarding or heartworm prevention if
your dog will be exposed to mosquitoes are examples of important
preventative measures to take before your trip. If your pet is a
dog, have an up-to-date rabies tag for your dog's collar. If you
decide to day board your dog while on vacation, you may be
required to show paperwork proof of the rabies vaccination.
7. Once you arrive at the pet friendly lodging, inform the
check-in person that you have your pet. You can inquire if there
are any restricted areas where your pet should not be taken. Pet
friendly lodging staff should be very accustomed to answering
these kinds of questions and will appreciate your awareness.
8. In your hotel room, condo, cabin rental or vacation home
rental - never let your pet use the furniture or beds to sit, lay
or sleep on unless you've covered the furniture or bed with your
own cover. Place your pet’s food and water containers on a mat
or newspaper in the bathroom, where cleanup will be easier. When
staying in pet friendly accommodations, you may choose to feed
your pet outdoors.
9. If you'll be leaving your pet alone in the room or vacation
rental, make sure the front desk or rental agent knows. Be sure
that you leave your pet secured in their travel container or
crate if housekeeping staff will be entering the room at any time
to clean. You certainly don't want a housekeeper to enter and be
surprised or even attacked by your pet! A pet may also run out
of the room when housekeeping enters if left unsecured.
10. Be very careful in warm or hot weather with leaving your pet
in the car. Even when the outside temperature is only in the
70’s or 80’s, the interior of a vehicle can reach 100 degrees and
higher, especially when parked in the sun. It doesn’t take long
at these temperatures to cause serious or even fatal harm to your
Traveling with pets and staying in pet friendly lodging can be
lots of fun - after all, your pet is part of your family too.
Just using common sense and planning ahead makes for an enjoyable
and surprise-free vacation.
Copyright 2005 David Buster
David Buster is Vice-President of InfoSearch Publishing and
webmaster of http://www.bestvacationrentalsonline.com
the website to learn more about pet travel and to find pet
friendly lodging, log cabin rentals, vacation home rentals,
condos and chalets, places to get married, discount hotel
rooms, adventure travel and more.