How to Travel with Your Pet

For many of us, pets are part of our family. But for family road trips and travel, bringing your pet with the family can be a problem.

Travelling with a pet brings its own complications, but if it’s important to you that your furry friend comes along, learning how to travel with your pets is very simple!

Route Planning with Your Pet in Mind

Pets need to exit the car–even if it’s just to walk around for a few minutes or take a bathroom break. When driving with animals, keeping them in the car for too long can lead to dangerous behaviours that are distracting to the driver.

Route planning will help you know how long it will take to reach a destination and plan stops accordingly. This way you can keep your pet happy without on-the-go fretting about animal-friendly locations for a break.

Read Hotel Pet Policies

Make finding pet-friendly hotels before embarking on a road trip your priority. Pet-friendly rooms fill up quickly, and there’s no guarantee you’ll find one at the last minute. Websites such as Pet Friendly can help you find hotels that accommodate pets along your travel route.

Don’t forget to do your research when picking a hotel: all hotels have different pet policies. Some hotels only accommodate dogs, so if you have a cat or an exotic pet, you’ll need to find a different location. The hotel pet policy will also tell you what they expect from your pet and what animal services they offer.

If you’re unclear on anything, don’t be afraid to contact the hotel and ask before booking.

Training Your Pet

French bulldog sit in the car trunk with luggage ready to go for vacations.

A pet who behaves at home may act differently on the road because of the unfamiliar location. A well-trained pet is essential for a good travel experience. Make sure your pet listens to you and doesn’t bother other guests. Pets should also be potty trained, non-destructive, and responsive to commands.

While it can be hard for us animal lovers to understand when someone doesn’t like pets, it’s our responsibility as owners to train our pets so that they don’t bother other people enjoying their trip. To ensure your pet can behave, practice short road trips and overnight stays. Don’t make your pet’s first travel experience a long vacation.

Be Prepared

Making sure your pets are safe and well cared for during travel will help ensure everyone has a good time.

First, prepare your vehicle for pet travel. Disable the airbags where your pet will be sitting. If you need a carrier case, do some research to find a safe one. If your pet travels without a case, still consider something like a seatbelt to protect both you and your pet.

Once you prepare your vehicle, make a checklist of items you’ll need for your pet while travelling, such as

  • Food, water, and dishes
  • Medications
  • Waste disposal tools
  • Collar and leash
  • Identification, vaccination records, and other documents
  • Bedding
  • First-aid kit
  • Anything else you may need

International Travel with Your Pet

If you plan on taking your trip out of Canada, like driving your pet down to Florida, you’ll need to know international pet travel regulations and prepare accordingly.

Check the government of Canada website for more information about travelling out of the country with pets. However, the most important thing when taking your pet out of the country is to know the rules, laws, and customs for animals in the country you’ll be visiting, and to be up to date on all animal vaccinations and health checks.

Travel with the Full Family: Fur, Feathers, Fins, and All

Travelling with a pet may be more work, but it’s worth it. Pets are family, and a vacation wouldn’t feel complete without them. Through careful travel research and route planning, you can take your animal companion with you almost anywhere you go.