Traveling with Your Furry Friend During the Holidays

jesse-orrico-9271810                                                                           Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

This article is from guest writer Zara Lewis.

Any pet owner who’s ever been on vacation knows the hassle of trying to find someone to take care of their pet, and the general anxiety as you start missing them as soon as you arrive at the hotel. Do you ask your family to take care of them? Or do you hire a pet sitter? Will they have everything they need? And then there’s the fact that cats hate leaving their home, so you need to find someone who will come in and feed them every day. My dog Joey, like any other dog, hates it when I leave the house for a prolonged period of time, so handling vacations used to be nerve-wracking. However, things have changed. A lot of hotels are now completely open to pets and their owners both, and I have to say that I’ve been enjoying my holidays a lot more now that I don’t need to worry about Joey being lonely back home. Want to know how I pull of traveling with my furry best friend? Let me share some tips.

Start planning on time
Are you traveling by plane? By car? How long will your trip be? If you’re going to a different country, your pet will need a health certificate, they will need to be microchipped, and you should make sure they get all their shots well before the trip. You will probably need either a carrier or a crate where you can safely keep your pet as you travel. Keep in mind that large dogs will probably need to be kept in the cargo hold of the plane, which can be very stressful and even dangerous if they aren’t properly secured. Call your airline ahead of time and ask them about the regulations and what your options are. Here’s a handy list of specific airlines and their rules about dog travel. Bear in mind that there is going to be a fee for taking your pet with you.

Careful with pugs and pit bulls
I found out about this when my friend Linda wanted to take her pug with her to her vacation in France. Apparently, short-nosed breeds can have a lot of trouble breathing on the plane, and some airlines won’t allow them to travel. For these dogs, staying home might be the best option.

andrew-pons-8561419                                                                          Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

Check with your vet
Take your pet to a regular check-up and consult your vet. They will know more about what your furry friend needs to travel safely, and what kind of paperwork has to be finished before you take off. They can also recommend sleeping pills for your pet to ensure stress-free travel, especially if they have to be kept in the cargo hold of the plane. Do NOT give your pet sleeping pills without consulting the vet, because certain medication can make breathing difficult on the plane and can lead to suffocation.

Once you get there
Your pet will need to have a routine just like the one they had back home. Being somewhere new can make them anxious, so you want to make sure you have a bunch of the things they’re used to around, to help them adjust with ease. When Joey and I travel, I always bring his favorite Royal Canin treats and his chicken-shaped chew toy, and he’s pretty happy. Pets like exploring, so just give them the same care you give them back home and let them go on an adventure with you.

In case of emergencies
Before you even arrive, find emergency pet numbers and keep them on your phone. You can ask either your vet for a reference or the hotel where you’re staying. You never know what might happen, and you want to be prepared.

Travelling is so much fun when you bring your best friend with you. I love taking Joey because he’s a good boy, and we rarely have any trouble with him. So, if you don’t like being away from your buddy, take them with you and you’ll have the most memorable holiday you’ve ever had.

About the author:

“Zara Lewis is a regular contributor at and a full-time animal lover. Passionate about creating a better world for the generations to come, she is a mum of two, raising them inseparably from their furry family members.”  You can find her at:

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