Taking your furry friend with you on a pet-friendly holiday? Here's a list of things to pack to help make sure your four-legged pal is happy, healthy, and comfortable while traveling:
Bring along his usual food and water.
You might not be able to find your pet's usual brand of food while traveling. Some pets may experience an upset tummy if his usual food and water is exchanged for something new.
Don't forget the food & water dishes, too.
If you think your pet's bowls are too bulky to pack, consider purchasing portable pet travel bowls. These lightweight bowls are collapsible and store compactly.
A can opener, if your pet eats tinned food.
Leashes / harnesses (and an extra too).
Even if you expect to be out in the country with no one around for miles, bring leashes or harnesses anyways. Bring along an extra as well - just in case one breaks.
Kennel or travel crate.
Hotels that allow you to leave your pet unattended in the room (some do not - contact each hotel for their pet policy) will require that pets are kenneled or crated. Bring some soft blankets or bedding to pad the bottom of the create to keep your pet comfy.
A kennel is also a good way for your pet to travel safely in the car.
Consider the use of a pet seat-belt.
A seat belt for pets? It's true. Many pet supply stores now carry harnesses for dogs that will allow them to be clipped into your car's seat-belt mechanisms. It may sound odd, but it will help to keep your pet safer in the case of sudden stops or an accident.
If your pet will not tolerate the use of a seat-belt, another option is to use a travel crate, properly secured in the car.
Some hotels will provide a doggy bed for use during your stay - again, please ask them as this service isn't available everywhere. Bringing your pet's own bedding, however, gives him something familiar and comfortable to snuggle up with while traveling.
Documentation / records.
Carry your pet's vaccination records, veterinarian's name/number, license and/or microchip numbers, list and dosages of medication he may need, and other important information. A recent photo is also highly recommended. It will help tremendously just in case you need to describe your pet.
Also make sure your contact information is up-to-date on your pet's tags. You may want to attach an additional temporary tag with contact information where you can be reached while traveling, such as a cell phone number.
Finally, if you're traveling between countries, make sure you have the appropriate documentation. Click here for information in pet import regulations.
Bring any medications your pet needs.
You may not be able to find a vet who can quickly fill a prescription for you while you are traveling. Medications commonly used include flea & tick preventives and heartworm medication.
"Doggy bags" or a litter box.
Always clean up after your pet. One of the biggest complaints about travelers with pets is that they leave their dog's droppings on the ground, creating an unpleasant environment for everyone. Dispose of waste promptly in outdoor garbage bins.
Even the most well-mannered pet may have an accident in an unfamiliar environment. Include a lint brush or pet hair removal tool as well. Try to leave your room in as good condition as you found it.
Wipe off the pooch's paws before he comes back into the room, and towel him off if he's wet.
First aid kit and name/number of a nearby vet.
Spend a few moments to locate a vet or two in the area where you will be traveling. Keep the number handy just in case you need it while you're away from home. A pet first aid kit and bandages/gauze are also handy for emergencies.
Confirm your pet room with the hotel.
Call your accommodation to make sure they know your pet is accompanying you, and to ask any questions you might have about pet rules, restrictions, and fees. Well-behaved pets (and well-behaved pet owners!) help to make sure that accommodations will continue to welcome pets in the future.