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Traveling with pets

Pet Travel Tips

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My family is fortunate to have a wonderful pet sitter for our dog. We prefer to leave our pet at home when we travel, but on the occasions that we have traveled with him, we found it has been easy and enjoyable. Many travel destinations realize that accommodating pets has become a necessity so there are many options. Here are my best tips for traveling with pets.

Research

Do research before your trip. My favorite travel pet site is Dogfriendly.com. There you will find answers about traveling with your pet and you can search by location. You should consider:

Hotels

Many hotels accept dogs for a small fee. Read the hotel policies and make a reservation because most dog friendly hotels will only accept a certain number of pets. Select Hilton Hotels & Resorts have pet programs that range from pet sitting to pet room service menus. My dog even received a goody bag when checking in at Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa.

Restaurants

Look for restaurants that have outdoor dining and are pet friendly. There are more than you think! Restaurants will also usually do take out.

Attractions

If you are visiting attractions, look for their pet policies. Some large parks like Disneyland and LEGOLAND have kennels at their front gates. National Parks allow leashed dogs, but only on select trails. There are even many dog beaches and dog parks. We recently took a Jeep ride in Sedona where they welcomed pets on the ride.

Air Travel

Airlines do accept small pets in pet carriers as checked baggage or in the cabin. There are many restrictions and considerations for pet air travel. Fees do apply and reservations are required. Please see your airline website for more specific air travel information.

Making Your Pet Comfortable

If your pet is at ease, you will be as well. Again, plan ahead and tune in to the needs of your pet.

Bring plenty of food and water

Pets may be more anxious when traveling so offer them water often. I bring a small bowl and bottle of water in my purse.

Pick up after Fido

Carry pet waste bags with you at all times. Never leave pet waste behind.

Reduce distractions at night

Bring a noise machine for the hotel or use an application on your smart phone like White Noise. My dog wanted to bark at anyone who walked by our hotel room door.  I put on the white noise and was able to reduce the outside distractions.

Use a pet restraint in the car

Pets are hurt every year by being thrown around a vehicle. Also, have pets ride in the back seat so they do not disrupt the driver.

My last and most important tip is to remember that as much as your love your pet, not everyone else does. Keep your pets leashed and be respectful of others. My kids loved bringing our dog on vacation. He does not always fit with our travel plans, but it is fun to find occasions where he can.

Read more on pet travel.

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Tricia lives in Phoenix with her husband, 14 year-old daughter and 12 year-old son. She is a special education teacher for elementary students. Her family’s favorite memories…

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