Pet Travels

 

            If you have ever traveled with your pets, you know it’s often a challenging situation. We once took our three month old Malamute puppy with us on a three week camping trip. She visited Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons with us and we all survived. While there were a few incidents that were not so memorable–like Juno chewing the wires on our CB radio (hey, this was before cell phones)—there were a lot of good times and moments I’ll always remember. Juno sprawled beside our daughter in the snow in Glacier and the night, in the middle of a noisy thunderstorm in the mountains, that our not-so-small puppy crawled to sleep between all of us so she’d feel safer. That is the longest trip we’ve ever taken with a pet, but many of them went on shorter trips with us. We’re lucky that Zeke and Foo Foo are both very good car-riders. Zeke did experience car sickness when he was a puppy, but with the help of medicine from the vet and conditioning him with many shorter trips, he soon grew out of it and now loves to go for car rides. When a normally three hour trip turned into a nearly six hour one because of heavy holiday traffic last year, we were thankful both dogs were troopers about it. No whining, no panting, no stress. But they’ve become used to car trips, and we try to stop whenever possible for potty breaks, short walks and to get a drink. It’s good for everybody to get out and stretch if you’ve been in the car for more than an hour or two.

            Recently, we had to spend a night in a motel with the dogs. This was a first for them. We weren’t sure how they would react, and as might be expected they were a little confused. While we thought it might be the yappy Foo Foo who might bark at unfamiliar noises, it was Zeke who was really not happy with the people who kept running up and down stairs all night. He barked a little before finally settling down. I think Foo Foo might have been so puzzled she just went to sleep. All in all, it turned out better than I thought it would.

            The key to make traveling with pets a pleasant experience is to plan ahead. It’s helpful to make a list of anything you might need to keep them relaxed and happy (and thus you will be relaxed and happy!). I usually pack a tote bag, sometimes two, just for dogs. In it goes a bottle of water, the food and treats they are used to eating as well as dishes for food and water. A blanket or bed they’re used to sleeping in; leashes, harnesses, collars, and on those collars their license and I.D. tags. Including any medicine given on a daily basis and being up to date on vaccinations and preventative meds like heartworm and flea/tick drops will help keep any sickness at bay. Don’t forget bags to clean up after them at rest areas or wherever you might stop. If you will spend time in hotels/motels, it’s a good idea to find out ahead of time which ones are pet-friendly. Air travel is not something I’ve ever attempted with pets, but of course there are other specific rules to follow and checking with your airline is your best bet.

            Safe and happy travels with your pets!

P.S. Happy Birthday to Zeke (11 on the 12th) and Foo Foo (4 on the 20th)!

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4 Comments on “Pet Travels”

  1. Melissa Keir Says:

    Great Advice! My babies don’t travel well in the car for long periods, so we haven’t gone anywhere too far with them. Lucky for me, I have older children who love to come babysit!

  2. Diane Burton Says:

    Lots of good advice, Lucy–as usual. The only thing I would add is to make sure your cell phone # (not home phone) is on the dog’s ID tags.


  3. Sounds like your trip with Juno was loads of fun! Our pet, Heidi, doesn’t so much enjoy the ride as she does arriving wherever we are going. But then, being a rescue, I’m sure she has her reasons. Informative post, Lucy. Thank you.


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