How to avoid the biggest pet-travel mistakes this holiday season


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With the holiday travel season revving up many of us will be looking down at furry, brown-eyed loved ones and considering bringing them along for the ride.


As you’re busy making plans for your four-legged friends holiday excursions the best advice to keep in mind is, “think kids” says Dr. Kerri Marshall, Chief Veterinarian Officer with

To many of us our pets are our kids. That same outlook is important to have when traveling. Just like advance planning is necessary when traveling with children, the same holds true for Fido and Fluffy.

dog on suit case Photo –

According to Dr. Marshall by following a few simple suggestions the holiday travel season will be a happy and safe one for our animals.

A few tips Dr. Marshall shared with me include;

Take practice trips – this is especially important for pets that have never traveled before, and for pets who become car sick and need time to get used to the motion of the car.

Buckle up your pet – there are many options available to keep pets safe inside vehicles, including harnesses that attach to the seat belt and will keep them restrained in the event of an accident. Cats should always be kept inside carriers as they can easily panic and cause distraction to the driver.

cat-in-car-300x235Photo –

Think “kids” – Air bags can injure or even kill your pet, so follow the same guidelines as children and keep them in the back seat safely buckled in.

Schedule extra time – Be prepared to stop every two hours or so to allow your pet to take a break, stretch his legs and drink some water.

dog in planePhoto –

Flying with pets takes additional advance planning.

A visit to the vet is in order to obtain a certificate of health and shot records. If you’re traveling internationally a form 7001 is needed before departing.

It’s also important to consider how flying may affect your dog or cat. Some animals fly like champions, others find the process entirely too stressful. Talk with your vet and take into consideration your pet’s temperament when making plans.

Additionally, airlines have size limitations on pets traveling with owners in the plane’s cabin. The carrier and pet’s combined weight must not exceed 20 pounds. Larger pets and carriers will need to fly in the cargo area.

Should you decide flying is the best mode of transportation, be sure to label your pet’s carrier adequately and include the animal’s name. Something as simple as being able to call your pet by name may make a world of difference should a baggage handler need to calm him.

dogs in suitcasePhoto –

Whether traveling by car or plane you may need overnight accommodations. It’s always advisable to contact hotels prior to your journey. Not all hotels welcome four-legged family members. While some chains such as Hilton and Best Western do allow dogs and cats there are often restrictions on size and number of pets.

Remember “pets welcomed” isn’t the same as “pet-friendly” so do your research before booking.

When traveling out of town it’s important to have your pet micro-chipped. It’s a simple and inexpensive procedure and substantially increases the odds of being reunited should you and your pet become separated on vacation.

Our pets are important family members so while you’re busy making arrangements for your holiday get-away be certain to take time and sure up travel plans for the furry family members.

As Dr. Marshall emphasizes, “prepare and do your research ahead of time for happy, safe and stress-free pet travel.”

If you like this, please share it with your friends.  As always, Happy Travels!

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33 Responses to How to avoid the biggest pet-travel mistakes this holiday season

  1. Maroubra Vet says:

    True! On top of everything, make microchipping a must when you want to take your furry kid for a vacation. They may also need extra extra care and attention, knowing that they will be meeting with many strangers along the way.

  2. chad says:

    Great information! I don’t do a lot of overnight traveling with my pets, and I don’t think I could ever put them in the cargo area of a plane so I don’t have to worry about that too much. The thing that I always seem to forget is their food though, so I usually end up driving around trying to find a store that sells their brand.

  3. Spencer says:

    These are great tips. Traveling with my dog is a hassle, it’s hard to keep him in his seat, and I feel like he is going to jump out or get hurt from a car accident. I never really thought of treating him like a human. Thanks for sharing.

    Spencer recently posted…Fat Burning FoodsMy Profile

  4. Harsh Patel says:

    Its really a great idea to have your pet dogs on the trip. But it will be too hilarious if they make the situations tougher for you
    Harsh Patel recently posted…Top 10 Newest Love Movies of the 21st CenturyMy Profile

  5. Great tips ! I love pets they are my life that’s why this information is so helpful to me. Thank you for sharing :)

  6. These are great tips! I’m planning on travelling (bringing my cat along) this year and this is so helpful. I am bookmarking this! Thank you for sharing! :)
    Sol Felice Alvarado recently posted…Valentine gift ideasMy Profile

  7. Thank you for this article.I’v been planning for a trip this summer and have been doing trial trips for my dog.He’s been reacting well with some scent techniques.But I’m still nervous about getting him on an airplane.
    Olivia Simmons recently posted…Contact us for a Meet n’ Greet!My Profile

  8. Such Cute Photos! Thanks for writing this.Other pet owners should learn from your article and treat their pets with special care when traveling, and not like a piece of luggage.You’re right about the seat belts for pets,its not just for their safety but for ours too.My dog gets so jittery in the car that its sometimes distracting.Thanks again!

  9. Liam Hall says:

    Research is really your best friend, well – second best friend :), when travelling. My dog would be flying with me for the first time and I think your naming the “pet’s carrier” is a smart idea.
    Liam Hall recently posted…8 German Shepherd Training Tips You Can UseMy Profile

  10. What great tips! I bring my dog with me everywhere and its important to think of these things. Thanks for sharing.

  11. vito andolini

    Thanks for pointing out some common pet travel mistakes. Nice post :)
    vito andolini recently posted…Professional Removal Companies – Moving made EasyMy Profile

  12. liam abraham says:

    Nice and really informative post. I definitely agree with the point of ‘think kids’. We need to think and treat our pet as our own child to make sure that they stay health and safe
    liam abraham recently posted…How to Make Dog Training Easily SuccessMy Profile

  13. Rohil Dev

    Thanks for letting me know regarding the common mistakes happening in holiday season
    Rohil Dev recently posted…Happy Holi Wishes – Happy Holi SMS – Happy Holi GreetingsMy Profile

  14. Small Dogs says:

    I find it a bit of a hassle though. It is difficult to carry your pets around on vacation. They might get sick or feel distraught. Whenever my family went out for vacation we always have some of our well trusted neighbor watch over the dog and cats to make sure they are properly fed and taken care of. That way, we have someone to watch over our house too but we never give out the house key only the key to the front gate. I hope it helps too.

  15. Andrew says:

    So cute! Traveling with those you love (could also be your pet) is one of the most wonderful experiences you can treasure for a lifetime. Thanks for the tips. It is very helpful!

  16. TJryan says:

    I am extremely pleased to find this valuable information from your site. This is very helpful for me. 

  17. Very interesting topic on traveling with your pet. Thank you for the common mistakes section. Have you seen this other site on training your dog? Very useful information on how to train your dog.
    Phyllis R. Sanchez recently posted…Understanding Dog BehaviourMy Profile

  18. pet care says:

    Great information for everyone going to plan for a travel with their pets and yes these are our kids so we have to take care of them keep track of what they are doing should be our priority.
    I think adding some micro chip for keeping them around you is a very good idea especially for dogs.
    pet care recently posted…Holiday Time for PetsMy Profile

  19. Jason Baker

    This post contains huge valuable information on our pets. This article can help by preventing risk. Truly its a nice job. Thank you for sharing with us. This will certainly help all pet owners.

  20. Great article! Pet friendly hotels are also becoming popular. Thanks for posting!

  21. DogToys says:

    Wow. nice posting. Thanks for pointing out some common pet travel mistakes. Nice post
    DogToys recently posted…Indestructible Dog Toys for Small DogsMy Profile

  22. Janine

    These are timeless tips.
    I like the “think kids” approach.
    Janine recently posted…The Miele S7260 Cat & Dog Upright Vacuum: Every Pet-lover’s DreamMy Profile

  23. Pet Friendly says:

    Thank you for the information on explaining the difference in Pets Welcome and Pet Friendly traveling. You are so right and I will add a link to this on our new website. We are creating a website for pet owners traveling to the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area.

  24. You are so right. When you are traveling make sure that you microchip your pet when you want to take it for a vacation. Great post.
    Jess and Brandon recently posted…What is Lifestyle Arbitrage?My Profile

  25. This is very informative. I have traveled with my dog in my car but we have never done an air excursion. I am going to share your article on pet forums. Thanks for sharing tips.

  26. Pet Sprays says:

    It is very important to make your pet familiarize before flying because it happened with me that my dog got frightened and it was horrible for him . And ll because i was not aware of this fact.
    Pet Sprays recently posted…SIGNS OF ILLNESS IN YOUR DOGMy Profile

  27. hollyba46

    Thanks for this useful post! and very Impressive blog. Your idea is great

  28. Dog toy says:

    now a days dog is a part of our total life
    Dog toy recently posted…Best Dog HarnessesMy Profile

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