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Pet Travel Tips

At Pet Friendly Hotel we offer over 25,000 pet friendly hotels to choose from.  Below are some pet travel tips on hotels, cars, and flights to make travel easier for you and your pet.

Hotel Tips

Small Paw
At check-in:  Announce your pet and inquire as to areas to walk your pet and areas that your pet is not permitted.  Also ask about any ant or insect poisons in use; many of these are toxic to pets.

Small Paw While in your room:  Cover any furniture and beds your pet will be allowed on. Never permit your pet to sleep on beds, chairs, or bed spreads unless they have been covered with your own complete bed covering.

Place your pet's food and water bowls on a mat or feed them outside. Litter boxes should go in the bathroom to make cleanup easier and newspaper should be placed underneath.

Small Paw Leaving your room:  Avoid leaving your pet alone in the room. If you must do so, inform the front desk, turn on your radio or television to keep your pet entertained, and make sure your pet is securely crated to avoid the startled pet escaping through an open door when the housekeeper enters or, worse, attacking the housekeeper.

Small Paw Public areas:  Always keep your pet leashed. Always check before you take your pet into a dining area, bar, lounge, or pool area.  Walk your pet far from lawns, flower beds, and other public areas and always please clean up after your pet.

Small Paw During your stay: Wipe off muddy or dirty paws before your pet enters the room.

Car Tips

Small Paw
No heads out the window:  Although many pets find that sticking their head out the window is the best part of the road trip, it's not safe. Your pet can easily be injured by flying debris. This should go without saying, but NEVER travel with a pet in the back of a pickup truck. Some states have laws restricting such transport and it is very dangerous.

Small Paw Frequent pit stops:  Always provide frequent bathroom and exercise breaks. Most travel service areas have designated areas for walking your pet. Be sure to stay in this area particularly when you pet needs a potty break…and of course, bring along a bag to pick up after your pet. When outside your vehicle, make sure that your pet is always on a leash and wearing a collar with a permanent and temporary travel identification tag.

Small Paw Proper hydration:  During your pit stops be sure to provide your pet with some fresh water to wet their whistle. Occasionally, traveling can upset your pet's stomach. Take along ice cubes, which are easier on your pet than large amounts of water.

Small Paw Watch the food intake:  It is recommended that you keep feeding to a minimum during travel. Be sure to feed them their regular pet food and resist the temptation to give them some of your fast food burger or fries (that never has a good ending).

Small Paw Don't leave them alone: You should never leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle. On warm days, the temperature in your vehicle can rise to 120 degrees in minutes, even with the windows slightly open. In addition, an animal left alone in a vehicle is an open invitation to pet thieves.

Small Paw Practice restraint:  Be sure that your pet is safely restrained in your vehicle. Utilizing a pet safety harness or travel kennel are the best ways to keep your pet safe. They not only protects your pet from injury, but they help by keeping them from distracting you as you drive. A safety harness functions like a seatbelt. While most pets will not have a problem adjusting to it, you may want to let them wear the harness by itself a few times before using it in the vehicle. If your pet prefers a travel kennel, be sure it is well ventilated and stabilized. Many pet owners prefer vehicle barriers, particularly for larger pets. Vehicle barriers are best suited for SUVs. No matter what method you choose, back seat travel is always safer for your pet.

Small Paw Safe and comfortable:  Whatever method you choose to properly restrain your pet in your vehicle, be sure to make their comfort a priority. Just as it's important for your "seat" to be comfortable for your long road trip, your pet's seat should be comfortable too. Typically their favorite blanket or travel bed will do the trick. There are also some safe and very cozy pet car seats available that your pet may find quite comfy.  Following some basic rules during road travel will help to make your journey with your little one much more enjoyable and safe!

Travel Tips

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Assess your pet:  Be honest about your pet's ability to travel. If your pet is very young or old, or is ill, pregnant, or recovering from surgery, it may be better for all concerned to look into a pet sitter or kennel rather than take a chance on injuring your pet by taking it with you. If you are in doubt, ask your veterinarian. If your pet has not traveled before, try a short overnight or weekend trip first.

Small Paw Schedule a visit with your veterinarian:  Inform your veterinarian where you will be traveling to, for how long, as well as whether your pet will be traveling by air or car. Ask your veterinarian about any flea, heartworm, or tick risks for areas you will be traveling to. If your pet becomes carsick or restless when traveling, ask your veterinarian about appropriate medications or treatments.

Many pets become separated from their people while traveling and often collars are not on pets when they are recovered at shelters. Seriously consider having your pet micro chipped - animal hospitals, humane societies, kennels, and shelters nationwide are using scanners that will read these implanted chips and let you be reunited with your lost pet. Microchip procedures are safe, quick, inexpensive, and very common. Your veterinarian can tell you more about this procedure.

Make certain that all vaccinations are up to date and obtain current health and rabies certificates no more than ten (10) days prior to your departure. You will be required to have these if your pet is traveling by air. These certificates are also strongly recommended if your plans do not include air travel as you may need to board your pet unexpectedly and many kennels will not accept pets without these certificates. And, if your pet does require emergency medical care, these will allow this to take place much more quickly and without the potentially dangerous duplication of vaccinations.

Small Paw Obtain a secure carrier for your pet:  You need a sturdy, properly ventilated crate of adequate size for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down in comfortably. Knobs or a rim at least 3/4 inches deep is required so that the ventilation will not be blocked. The crate should be free of interior hazardous protrusions, have a door that securely latches, and have handles or grips on the outside to prevent anyone who might need to handle the crate from being bitten. The bottom should be leak proof and covered with a towel or other absorbent material.

Print your pet's name and your name, address, and phone number for both your home and destination on the outside of the crate with permanent marker. Include your personal 800 number if you have one or the words "call collect".

Never put a leash in the crate as your pet could get tangled in it.

Make sure your pet is accustomed to the crate before you begin your trip.

Small Paw Verify that your pet's tags are current:  Your pet should wear a secure collar at all times with tags showing proof of rabies vaccination and your name, address, and phone number in case your pet becomes separated. Make a set of temporary paper tags with the address and phone number at your destination.

Never allow your pet to wear a choke, pinch, or training collar while traveling. Safety collars, which attach with elastic or Velcro, are recommended for cats.

Small Paw Before you leave:  Clip your pet's nails. Pets with freshly-trimmed nails will be less likely to damage items in strange surroundings and will be easier to restrain if necessary.

Brush your pet to remove all loose hair.

If your pet has fleas, obtain and complete the necessary treatment before traveling to avoid infesting its new surroundings.

Small Paw Ideas on things to bring:

  • A leash.

  • An extra collar.

  • An old blanket or sheet for the back seat of your car or wherever the pet's carrier will be secured to make cleanup easier.

  • Two old sheets to cover bedding and furniture at your destination.

  • Some of your pet's bedding.

  • Food. If you do not feed a brand you are certain will be available at your destination and along the way, bring enough for the whole trip. If you feed canned, bring a can opener and spoon.

  • Two gallons of extra drinking water from home. When you are down to the last half gallon, begin mixing in equal parts with the water supply at your destination. If your pet is especially sensitive, use distilled water.

  • Food & water bowl set.

  • Portable water bowl or bottle for use when away from your lodging.

  • Treats.

  • Toys or chew items.

  • All required medications, supplements, and preventatives.

  • Tweezers to remove foreign objects from fur or paws.

  • Brush or comb.

  • Lint and hair remover.

  • Baby wipes or moist towel wipes to wipe off paws.

  • For cats, a full litter pan with extra litter, liners, and newspaper to place underneath for cats.

  • Waste removal bags.

  • Old towels, carpet cleaner, disinfectant spray, and trash bags for accidents.

  • First aid kit.

  • Flashlight for nighttime walks.

Small Paw Be prepared for the worst:  While no one likes to think about it, many pets do become separated while away from home. To increase the chances of a safe and quick return, bring a recent photograph and written description of your pet including call name, breed, sex, age, any microchip or tattoo numbers, and a description of coat, color and markings including any unusual markings, scars, or other identifying marks, as well as weight and height. These will be invaluable if your pet does become separated.

Small Paw While you're traveling:  Keep fresh water available for your pet at all times. Avoid sudden changes of diet. If you are unable to obtain your pet's normal brand, switch gradually over to the new food over a period of four or more days. Clean your pet's food and water bowls out regularly with soap.

Never take your pet on an escalator unless it is securely in its crate as its claws or fur could become caught.

Obey all leash laws and make certain to keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier at all times when not securely in a room. Clean up after your pet.

Never give your pet sedatives or tranquilizers unless under a veterinarian's prescription. Such medications can interfere with your pet's ability to maintain its balance and equilibrium, which could prevent your pet from being able to brace itself and prevent injury. Air travel while under the influence of these medications is especially dangerous as exposure to increased altitude can cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems.



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