T+L’s Pet Travel Tips
Published: December 2009
By Kathryn O'Shea-Evans
As millions of Americans take their dogs on vacation, hotels and airlines are offering more services than ever. Here, six secrets to creature comfort on the road.
Proper ID collars that list multiple phone numbers are a must. “Pack a current photograph of your pet and copies of vaccination records,” says Kim Saunders, vice president of petfinder.com, a nationwide animal-adoption database. “If your dog gets lost, they’re absolutely critical.”
According to L.A.–based “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan (cesarmillaninc.com), you can help prevent canine anxiety by taking a walk after you land: “This allows your dog to relax and take in the new surroundings under your guidance.”
“It’s cute when dogs hang their heads out of car windows, but it’s not safe,” says animal expert Alysa Binder, cofounder of Pet Airways (petairways.com). “Keep them in backseat carriers to avoid potential injury.”
Saunders recommends bringing plenty of your pet’s regular food and snacks, as anything new can cause stomach upset. “Also, ice cubes may be easier to ingest than water,” she says, especially if your dog is prone to motion sickness.
Only service animals are permitted inside public dining rooms within the U.S. “Try for outdoor seating,” says celebrity vet Dr. Jeff Werber, “and keep pets on a leash—you don’t want to ruin the privilege for others.” Find Fido-appropriate restaurants throughout North America at petfriendlytravel.com.
“When you get to the hotel with your dog,” Millan says, “be the pack leader—enter first! Right away, you’re letting him know this is your space, and that he should follow the same rules he would at home.”