6 Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

Cheryl Phillips

Summer is a time remembered for family vacations, trips to the lake, and weekend getaways. It can be hard to leave your furry friend behind when your pet is another member of the family! Let your animal join in on the fun with these 6 tips for traveling with your pet.

Make sure your pet is comfortable with travel.

Some pets may not be able to travel due to illness, injury, age, or temperament. Consult with your veterinarian to find if your animal is able to travel. If your pet is not able to tag along, find a reliable pet-sitter. Or ask your veterinarian for the best boarding facilities in the area.

Have the proper documentation ready.

Your pet must have proper-identification tags with up-to-date information. If you are traveling across state lines or internationally, health certification and other documentation may be required. You can find what is needed by visiting the official embassy website of the country you are traveling to. And, get your pet microchipped before traveling. Should your pet ever get lost, the microchip can help your pet get back home. 

Research your airline’s pet policy.

If you are boarding a plane for your vacation, be sure you are aware of your airline’s rules and restrictions for traveling with pets. It is important to be informed before loading your pet and taking it to the airport, so you can grab the necessary items for comfortable travel. Also, try to book a direct flight without layovers to decrease the anxiety of constant environment changes and decrease the chances of losing your pet. Most airlines have specific web pages that explain their pet policies. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian to be sure your pet is ready to fly.

Do your research and find pet-friendly housing.

Some hotels are pet-friendly; others prohibit pets. Before you book a reservation, be sure to visit the hotel or housing website to discover if you can bring your furry friend. While many hotels may allow pets, most also specify the animal type, size, weight, and additional factors. Review all of the housing’s guidelines by visiting their website or calling the customer service desk.

Prepare a pet travel kit.

Emergencies may happen. Your pet may face anxiety while traveling. You need to be prepared. Some of the essentials that must be packed include dry food, water, a collapsible bowl, medications, and first aid items, travel documents, a blanket, your pet’s favorite toy, treats, potty pads, litter and litter box, and your veterinarian’s contact information. No one knows your pet as you do. Pack the things you know your pet enjoys most and will make them feel at ease.

Be aware of the heat!

Do not leave your animal inside a vehicle alone. Even if it is a nice 78° outside, the inside of your car can get to over 100° in just a few minutes! Similarly, on hot days, be aware of the pavement temperatures. Hot asphalt can cause burns on your pet's paws or even heat stroke. 


By following the tips above, you can bring your family’s best friend nearly anywhere. We all know a vacation isn’t complete without the company of your pet!

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