Pets and Travel – Keeping Pets Healthy and Happy on the Road

Are you looking forward to a big trip with your beloved furry friend? Perhaps you’re only taking a small road trip. Are you prepared to take to the road with Fido? If you’re like most, chances are you probably haven’t given it much thought. Keep reading for helpful tips on pet supplies and basic recommendations that can make your travel with your furry buddy happy and safe.

Locate Lodging that Accepts Pets

Our pets are not unlike us, they have special needs while traveling, these are often overlooked. Often times the single most overlooked pet consideration while traveling is pet lodging. Many hotels, B&Bs, and Inns will not allow pets. Pets owners do some investigating as to whether pets are allowed at their lodging prior to booking. There is nothing more disheartening then being told at check-in “sorry we don’t accept pets”.

Going to the properties website directly versus booking through an On-line Travel Agency (OTA) is also another great option. Smaller hospitality properties may not list all of their pet friendly units on the OTA booking site. Doing a little research can help assure you and your pet get the best place to stay for both of you.


Reservation Made – Time to Roll

Now that you feel comfortable with your lodging plans, and you and your furry friend are all set for travel, it now is the time to plan your transportation. This is the time to keep your pet in mind. Your pets have many needs during travel, depending on the type of transportation, that may require more considerations than others.

Traveling by Car

Is your pet accustomed to traveling in a vehicle? Getting ready for a big trip and making the decision, for the first time, to take the family dog along is not the time to “see how things go”. If this is the first time your pet will be traveling, start out a few weeks before you travel by taking your pet on a few short car rides. This will help your pet acclimate to traveling so when the big day comes, your pet won’t be anxious in the vehicle and you will have a pleasant drive.

Inside the Car At All Times:

We are all familiar with the scene where the car goes by and there it is – the dogs head hanging out of the car window. Of course the dog loves it! What people don’t realize is this can do damage to a dog’s ears, cause a lung infection, or the dog may be hit by an object as the car drives, according to ASPCA. Dogs who are allowed to ride in the open box of a Pickup are at even greater danger of being injured or killed.


Be Seated and Buckle Your Seat Belt:

Basset hound flying through the sky

You are required to wear a seat belt for your safety in a moving vehicle, this is no less true for your dogs and other pets. Your pets should not run freely around the interior of the vehicle while it’s moving. Not only does this pose a danger to your pet should you come to a sudden stop, but it can also cause a distraction for the driver and can result in an accident. Large dogs can be secured in the back seat with the use of a pet harness or large crate. Smaller pets can be crated and the crate secured in the back seat. It only takes one incident to agitate your pet and launch them into fur flying torpedo through your vehicle, posing a serious threat to your driving concentration.


Comfort Items

Bring your pets favorite items, snacks and toys on the road. Your pet may have a favorite blanket or toy you can throw in their crate. You can also consider adding one of your own articles of clothing if you plan to be separated. This may go a long way to easing separation anxiety.

Don’t Forget Mother Nature:

Your pet will need plenty of fresh water and food for the trip, regardless of the mode of travel you choose. Choose conveniently packaged food and don’t forget to bring a bowl. Your dog or cat can manage for a few hours without food, but hydration is very important in warm weather.

Keep in mind that your fluffy friend should have a nature break periodically, every 2-3 hours. If you keep your pet on a similar schedule to home, your pet will thank you for it. If you’re traveling by car, plan out your stops before leaving so you know where the rest stops are that allow dog walks. Crated pets need frequent time to get out of confinement and roam a bit.  Always be a good pet owner and clean up after your pet! Take along a scoop and a supply of baggies to clean up after your pet. You, your pet, and everyone in the park will be happy campers! Dog holding poop sign

Hot/Cold Car Warning:

Your pets should never be allowed to stay alone in a vehicle for any reason, whether it is hot or cold out. In hot temperatures, a vehicle can quickly heat up to over 100 degrees, even with windows cracked opened a bit. In cold weather, a vehicle can become extremely cold and a pet may become hypothermic very quickly.


Travel by Air

Traveling by air with your furry companion can be risky if you are not properly prepared. Do proper research and prep work before you book an airline flight when taking a pet along with you. Make sure that your pet is healthy enough for flight before making travel plans is also important. Pets can be held in the cargo hold, and travel conditions can be taxing. Some airlines prohibit certain breeds of dogs to stay in the cargo hold because of breathing difficulty; these include snub-nosed breeds, e.g., Pugs, Bulldogs, etc. Cargo holds can be greatly affected by temperature and may heat up on hot summer days, and get cold in the winter  or at night.

Flying dog



There are airlines that specialize in flying pets. When you have concern about flying your pet, you can look into an airline that specializes in one of these dedicated flights where the pets are monitored and cared for. Keep in mind if you intend for your pet to fly out of the Country they will need to have proof of vaccinations. Don’t forget this important paperwork from your Veterinarian prior to travel. Your Veterinarian can help with advice on reducing a pet’s anxiety during stressful travel times.

Other Travel Recommendations

Cat at veterinarians

Veterinarian Checkup

Prior to travel is a good time to take your pet in for a check up and make sure your pet is healthy and ready for travel, get vaccinations up to date, and get advice on how to handle anxiety and diet while traveling.


 Where to Go for More Pet Travel Tips

For more information about traveling with pets visit the website Mother Nature Network – MNN.

Tall Pines Inn is Pet Friendly

Our Family Duplex Units make perfect lodging for your family, and that includes your furry family member. We welcome dogs into our 6 Family Duplex Units. Each room has easy access to the great outdoors making it convenient for you and your four-legged buddy to enjoy vacation. While staying at Tall Pines, our pet friendly lodging is happy to provide you with dog treats, dog bowls, pet blanket, and as many pick-up bags as you need with a receptacle to dispose of them in. We have also expanded the dog size to include our beloved big dogs with pre-approval.

Traveling with your furry family member? Give us a call and see what we have available.

Dog Cat hug