Thanksgiving and Christmas are the busiest travel holidays of the year. This is no surprise, but a statistic that is changing is how many people travel with their pets. The percentage has drastically increased in the last decade. With that being said, up next in our 12 Days of Holiday Planning for Pet Parents blog series is holiday pet travel tips. Whether you’re bringing your dog to visit family or you have to leave them at a dog boarding facility, I have some useful tips and advice for you!
Holiday Pet Travel Tips
I take Wynston with me wherever I travel. We are experienced on the road and in the sky. If you’re looking for comprehensive guides on traveling with pets I have a post on airplane travel with dogs and tips for taking a road trip with your pup! I’d definitely suggest checking them out.
So let’s begin with our holiday pet travel tips for traveling WITH your dog.
Holiday travel can be crazier than ever. People may be more stressed out, airports and roads are more crowded, and everyone seems to be in a rush. This negative energy can be easily transferred to our dogs, so it’s best to try and remain calm and mindful when traveling.
Prepare for Delays & Cancellations
If you’re traveling via airplane with your dog this year, prepare for delays and cancellations due to weather. Bring extra food, toys, chews, water and waste bags. I pray you don’t have to deal with any sort of delays, but if you’re prepared for it you’ll be less likely to become stressed out should there be a wrench thrown in your plans.
Use CBD/Hemp Oil to Calm Your Pet
If your dog becomes anxious or stressed while traveling, I suggest administering hemp oil before traveling. The brand I recommend is HempMy Pet. It’s a natural way to relax your pet rather than using medications. Don’t worry, HempMy Pet is free of psychoactive ingredients, and it can be used for dogs and cats.
Pack for Severe Weather
We live in Arizona where it’s warm and sunny, but we enjoy traveling to places where it snows during the winter. I always pack sweaters, jackets and booties for Wynston in case we experience snow and freezing temperatures. Make sure you get your dog used to the heavy clothing using positive reinforcement training before you travel so they are used to it when you arrive at your destination. I even like to pack a small electric heating pad for Wynston.
Update ID Tag and Microchip Information
It is so, so, SO important that you update your dog’s identification, especially when traveling. God forbid your dog get lost while you’re out of state and their info is out of date. You don’t want to end up taking a trip to the shelter this Christmas to look for your dog.
Leaving your dog at home this holiday season?
If you unfortunately have to leave your dog at home for the holidays this year, then you REALLY need to reconsider your priorities 😉 LOL, just kidding. Kind of. Not really. Anyways, here are tips to ensure your dog will be safe while you’re away.
Research a Boarding Facility
When choosing a location to board your dog there are a few things you’ll want to do:
- Tour the facility.
- Choose a location with webcams so you can check in on your dog.
- Ask if they have overnight care.
- Find somewhere with separate yards based on size/temperament.
- Read reviews.
- Choose a location that has doggy daycare so your dog isn’t in a kennel all day.
You’ll want to be absolutely sure you’re leaving your dog in good hands at a boarding and daycare facility. If you’re in Arizona I always recommend Happy Pets Palace & Playground, award-winning, luxury boarding and daycare accommodations.
Find a Pet Sitter
If your dog is better off at the house, you can absolutely find a pet sitter to check in everyday. A good place to do this is Rover.com, or ask friends. The best sort of recommendations come from word of mouth. If you know someone who’s had a trustworthy pet sitter, consider hiring them! Always ask for references, read reviews and do an interview before committing to someone. You can also set up a camera in your home to check in and make sure everything is running smoothly.
Leave Your Pets With Family
The only human being I trust Wynston with is my mom. If I had to go out of town without him, I’d leave him with my mom. It’s best if you have some awesome family nearby who can help with dog or cat duties while you’re traveling!
Have an Emergency Backup Plan
It’s possible that your travels could potentially be delayed on the way home to your pets. Make sure that wherever they are staying would be able to keep them a little longer in that case. Thinking ahead and preparing for such emergencies will keep your travel stress-free and your fur babies safe.
Leave a Contact List
Whether your dog is staying with family, a pet sitter or at a boarding facility, leave an emergency contact list. On the list you’ll want to put your veterinarian, an emergency vet, a local friend or family member who could step in to help if necessary and your dog’s groomer. I’d also recommend leaving the address and phone number where you are traveling to in case someone needs to get a hold of you.
Are you ready for some holiday travel?! It can be a fun, relaxing experience for everyone if you’re prepared! Remember to download the dog mom packing list above, and safe travels!
What holiday pet travel tips can you add to this list? I’d love to hear some of your experiences!