Tips for traveling with pets


If you’re like us, we bring our four-pawed friends everywhere (work included). So naturally we want to take them on adventures with us. We’ve learned a few lessons along the way that we think can be helpful for other pet owners who are traveling. Read our tips for traveling with your pet below—approved by Roxy and Octavian.

 

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Meet Roxy and Octavian. They are valued employees in the KnowRoaming offices and globetrotting dogs. Both dogs were consulted in writing this post.

 

Prepping Fluffy: the basics

One of the most important steps is a vet visit to make sure your furry friend is healthy enough to travel and their vaccinations are up to date.

It’s a good idea to make sure your pet is micro-chipped and wears a collar with a tag that has your name and contact information should your dog need to be identified. You may even want to attach a second tag to your pet’s collar that includes the address and number of where you’ll be staying.

Just like packing for a child, your companion needs all the home essentials, in this case water, food, treats, leash, poop-bags, and a favorite blanket or toy for comfort.

Pro Tip: pick a sturdy carrier that your pet can’t easily escape out of. This used to happen to Octavian. He now uses a Sleepypod carrier.

 

Finding the right spot

When you’re planning a trip you’re going to want to check the country’s rules and vaccine requirements for pets. The PetTravel database is a quick resource to browse the regulations in over 240 countries. You may want to double check with the country’s embassy for more information.

Pro Tip: France is known to be one the friendliest dog places. It’s not uncommon to see them sitting in a café people watching—in their own seats!

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Do your research before you travel to find activities and places both you and your pet can enjoy.

Picking an airline

Every airline has different rules about transporting pets. Some airlines allow a small dog in the cabin while others require pets to be transported as checked luggage. The fees for transportation also vary between each carrier. BringFido’s database of airline policies makes it easy to browse and compare carriers.

Two of our personal favorite airlines to fly with Roxy and Octavian are Air Canada and WestJet since they allow a few extra pounds more than US airlines.

Once you’ve settled on an airline, make sure space is available for your dog before booking your ticket. Most airlines allow a limited number of dogs on each flight.

Lastly, pick a direct flight! It’s less stress on your pet and yourself. When you stop in another country you have to follow their regulations and some countries like the UK charge a fee to bring your dog in the country (£300!).

 

Time to fly

This might already be common sense, but make sure your pet is fed 3 to 4 hours before your flight and refrain from giving them too many treats before leaving to avoid any upset tummies.

Roxy and Octavian get a good walk in before it’s time to check in. This helps tire them out so they generally sleep through flights.

Flying can be scary to the average person, so imagine how it is for a dog who has no idea they’re entering a metal tube that flies at 35,000 feet. If you remain calm about it, your dog will be less stressed.

Remember, most vets don’t recommend giving medication to pets to calm them down because it can cause a number of different complications with your pet when they fly.

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Roxy with her humans in LaGuardia Airport.

Sniffing out a pet-friendly hotel

With the prep and transit over, it’s time to enjoy your trip. However, just because a hotel claims they are “pet-friendly” doesn’t always mean they are welcoming your pooch with a wagging tail. Some hotels charge extra fees and have strict rules.

We found BringFido’s lodging database to be helpful in finding the perfect place to stay with our four-pawed friends. You can search through lists of hotels, vacation rentals, apartments, bed & breakfasts or camping sites in more than 54 countries worldwide. Once you’ve settled on a hotel, BringFido’s attraction database is helpful in finding activities to do in the area.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out BarkPost’s list of 50 travel destinations your dog will love to explore with you.

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Don’t be fooled. Not all hotels labeled as “pet-friendly” are welcoming towards animals.

Now that you’re equipped with our tips you can hit the road with your furry best friend. If you have any other tips or stories from traveling with your pets, share them with us in the comments, or share in social with our hashtag, #letsroam!