Monday, May 23, 2022


By Samantha Rupp

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

You love your pet and don’t feel complete when you’re not with them. However, there are many times when you might have to leave your pet at home for short or long periods of time. When you travel, you aren’t always able to take your pets. In some cases, taking your pet with you might not be safe or a good experience for them. It’s important for your pet to be safe and comfortable when you’re not around. So, whether you’re going for a weekend getaway or taking a long holiday, you’ll need to make proper arrangements for your pet. Here’s how to care for your pet while you’re traveling without and with them.

Caring For Your Pet When Traveling Without Them

There are many reasons why you shouldn't always travel with your pet, including the reduced responsibility of ensuring your pet is happy and keeping them safe by leaving them back at home. Additionally, some dogs don’t like traveling or new situations, and others might not get along with strangers in new places. While your dog might experience separation anxiety without you, you know they’ll be more comfortable in another situation rather than traveling with you. Here are your options for pet care when you’re traveling without them.

  • Boarding at the Local Vet

Many vets have boarding services for cats and dogs, which can be a great option if your dog has medical problems or requires medication and monitoring. Even if you have a completely healthy pet, they can still enjoy being boarded at the vet, and boarding them with a professional can help ease your anxiety, too.

  • Dog Sitters

You can also leave your dog at home with a sitter. It’s typically best to leave your dog with someone you know and trust. If that person lives close enough, you can ask them to stay at your home with your pet while you’re gone to ease some of their anxiety. However, you can also drop your pet off at the sitter’s house, which can be fun for some pets, especially if they know the person sitting them well.

Having a dog sitter means their routine won’t change, and they can receive care from someone you trust. You can also choose to get a sitter through a service, but most pet parents would rather leave their pet in the hands of someone they already know and trust.

  • Doggy Daycare

Many doggy daycares offer overnight boarding services, which can help your dog adjust to a new routine if you’re going to be traveling for a long time. Doggy daycare is a great option for friendly dogs who enjoy being around people and other dogs. However, it’s not a good option for dogs that have not been socialized properly. In cases with unsocialized and potentially reactive dogs, it’s best to leave them in the care of someone they already know.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Preparing to Leave Your Pet

If you want your pet’s care to be top-notch while you’re away, there are a few things to help their caretakers take better care of them. These include:

  • Writing out your dog’s schedule
  • Not making a dramatic goodbye
  • Teaching the sitter about your dog’s habits and what they enjoy doing
  • Leaving the sitter with food and treats that your dog eats regularly
  • Letting your pet play with their favorite toys while you’re away

Traveling With Your Pet

While some pet parents don’t mind leaving their pets behind with someone they trust for a couple of days, some can’t bear the thought of being without their beloved animal companions. So if you can’t fathom traveling without your pet, here are a few tips to help you care for your pet while you’re traveling together.

Pack Supplies in Advance

While it’s not the end of the world if you forget a pair of shorts for your vacation, you never want to leave anything of your pet’s behind, especially if it can soothe their anxiety while traveling. Pack your pet’s supplies in advance so there’s nothing you forget. Items you should pack for your pet include:

  • Food and treats
  • Leashes
  • Bedding
  • Medications
  • Fresh water
  • Toys

If you’re taking a long trip and don’t want to carry a heavy bag of food, plan to stop at a local pet store on your travels. Additionally, if you're going to bring a ton of pet supplies, you can store your stuff in the trunk, so your backseat is safe for your pet.

Prepare for Emergencies

You never know what can happen while traveling with your pet, so it’s best to be on the safe side. To prepare for any pet emergencies, ensure you bring along:

  • A pet first aid kit
  • Your pet’s medical records
  • Backup food and water

A road trip with your dog might be slightly more complicated, but that doesn’t mean your pet won’t be safe traveling in the backseat or sticking their head out the window.

Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Not all hotels take pets, so it’s important to do research before stopping anywhere. Since you’ll have your dog with you, you’ll need to find accommodations that allow pets, even if they’re slightly more expensive, or else you’ll have to leave your dog in the car, which isn’t safe. Additionally, consider the location of your accommodations. If you’re traveling with a dog, you might want to find a hotel near a park where you can walk your dog regularly.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Secure Pets While Driving

Pets can move around a lot in the backseat, which can be dangerous for them. You can get a seatbelt for pets, which is similar to a harness, and secure them in the backseat so they won’t jump on you while driving. You can also secure small animals with a crate.

Caring for Your Pet While Traveling

As a pet parent, you know what your pet likes and how to keep them calm and safe during travels. If you’re traveling without your pet, you’ll need to plan ahead and ensure your sitter or the boarding provider has all the supplies to help ease your pet’s anxiety while away. However, if you're traveling with your pet, always bring some of their belongings to help them feel more comfortable in new surroundings.

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