Tips for Vacationing with Your Pet

dog on the beach at sunset

Summer vacations can be a lot of fun, especially when you take your favorite pet along.  But before heading out the door with your pet, you must plan appropriately to make sure it is not only safe, but pleasurable for both you and your pet.  Here are some tips to help you plan a successful vacation with your pet.

1. Be Prepared

It may be tempting to think you’ll just buy everything for your pet when you get to your destination, but that plan (or lack of a plan) might not work out. It’s probably not a good idea to “chance it” when it comes to pet supplies. So bringing along items to meet your pet’s needs is a big help. Here are some ideas as to what to bring.

  • Leash
  • Food and water bowls (collapsible ones can save space)
  • Pet food
  • Brush and comb
  • Medications (if applicable)
  • Towels and sheets to cover car upholstery and furniture
  • Treats

2. Be Considerate

If you’re bringing your pet along, whether you’re staying in a rental home, condo, hotel, or elsewhere, make sure your pet has adequate housing. A crate for your dog, a cage for your rabbit, a carrier for your cat, etc. are important for minimizing mess and maximizing enjoyment and preservation of the property on which you’re staying. Of course, your animal does not have to be confined all the time (that wouldn’t be healthy anyway!), but it’s a good idea to confine your animal when you are not around to check its behavior. Dogs and cats can destroy furniture, and other pets can be messy and/or destructive as well.

3. Destination

As you consider where to go and what kind of place to stay on your vacation, consider your pet. Obviously, the place you’re staying at must accept pets; but there are some other characteristics you might want to look for in your destination. Here are some thoughts.

  • High-rise condominiums may not be a good choice if you are bringing along a dog that needs to be walked regularly. Consider easy outdoor access and ground-level facilities if you’re bringing a dog along.
  • For pets like cats, you may want to go the opposite way and choose a facility that is a little harder to “break out of.” If you want your cat to stay in, a house or hotel where he/she could slip out into the woods as soon as the door is cracked may not be the best idea.

4. Activities

If you are going to the trouble to bring your pet on vacation, there seems to be little point in leaving him alone all day while you go out and enjoy your vacation. As you plan your activities, try to choose outings that will include your pet. Alternatively, you might want to leave your pet with a pet daycare service so she can have a vacation, too.

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