Traveling With Pets

Many of us travel with our pets, and when we do there are always worries with hotels, maids, leaving the pets in the car while we go in and eat, among other things. Here are my solutions. I have used these for many years and have never once had the least bit of a problem.


On The Road:

At home my pets don't wear their collars at all. But anytime we go on a trip the collars get put on them. You never know when the best behaved dog or cat may slip out of the car. I also keep their leashes tucked into a cubby hole in the area of the car that they ride. The cat "always" rides in a carrier. Made the mistake once of not putting one in a carrier and almost lost her! So since then my cats have always ridden in a carrier anytime they go in the car for any reason. I keep a small covered bin in the car with cat litter in it and whenever I stop, keeping all doors and windows shut, I let the cat out to use the make-shift litter box and offer her some water. In her carrier she has her own toys to play with plus a small bit of food too.

In the car I have a pad for them to lay on and a blanket for them to get under. They have a small bowl of food. Not much, just a little so they don't get too hungry and have a snack. I also keep pet snacks handy and offer them one every hour or two. They also have two small "non-squeaky" toys to play with, along with one rawhide bone for each dog.


Anytime I stop, I offer them some water, then take them for a walk. Even if I'm only stopping for a minute to run into a ladies' room. They probably have to go too! After I've gone in and done my business, I take them for another short walk to let them relieve themselves one last time before hitting the road again. I also give the cat one last chance at the litter box too.

When it comes to eating on the road, I stick with drive thrus. This way I don't have to leave the pets in the car where they may get over heated or too cold. I save restaurant eating for when I arrive at my destination. This also has 2 more good things to it: I save money over restaurants, and also save time too.

At The Hotel:

When I check in I tell the desk clerk that I have pets and that "I do not want maid service" during my stay at all. If I will be there more than 3-4 days, I tell them I will let them know what day they can come in. I keep a large laminated sign and some packaging tape in my suitcase. The sign tells the maid in large letters not to enter my room for any reason. When I check into my room I tape the sign to the outside of the door. Each morning, I track down the maids and exchange dirty towels for clean ones. I make up my own bed and take out my own trash.


If I will be there for more than 4 days, I set aside one day when I let the desk know, and bring all the pets outside with me for a good long walk while the maids do my room. The cat is brought out in her carrier. It's too easy for a panicked cat to get out of a collar, or get hurt trying, at the sight of a strange or aggressive dog. Should there be a problem with an aggressive dog that is not being handled by its owner, I report it to the front desk at my first opportunity. This has only happened to me twice and both times the desk people took care of the problem immediately.

I've used this system for many years and have never once had a problem. And by using this system, it makes the trip much more pleasant for me and for my beloved pets.

By Cricket from Parkton, NC


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March 12, 20100 found this helpful

Great tips. Thanks!

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March 13, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for your tips! We're planning on taking our dog with us next year on a trip, and I've already been worrying about hotel stays and what to do at restaurant stops, so your comments really made me feel better about it. I'd like to add a tip for others who may not have traveled with a pet in a while, and that's to make sure your current cell phone number is on your pet's tag, on it's crate, and also on a little sign you can leave visible in your car in case you have to leave a pet there briefly during a bathroom break or whatever, in case a passerby sees an emergency situation with your pet.


I'd recently realized that only our home phone number was on our pet's tag, so I'll have to order a new one.

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March 14, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you for these very valuable tips. I have an adopted cat that is very timid around strangers so we are extremely protective of her sense of security. With a possible trip ahead, I had been concerned about how to make this precious family member as comfortable as possible. Thanks to these ideas - all of which will be used - she should be all set.

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June 25, 20161 found this helpful

I always get my pets micro-chipped, it's affordable and I can easily update my information. If I'm traveling to visit family, I will add their name and contact information on-line at the micro-chipped site.


I also keep an on-line copy of their medical information, to include my vet and updated pictures. Frightened pets can easily slip their collars if they feel threatened and without a micro-chip there is no way for them to find their way home. Having updated photos is a huge help if you need to make flyers in a hurry.

Besides the micro chips I always go to PetSmart and have an additional dog tag made with our phone number on one side and the phone number of where we're driving too.

Our dogs love to travel and many years ago one of my past dogs got really sick from drinking water from a gas station and there is nothing worse than traveling with an older dog with diarrhea.

It was a learning experience and I now pack my own water for them and when we run out I buy gallon water from a grocery store.

I like the idea of placing a sign on the outside of the door. I also have a puppy pen that folds up and is larger than a crate that we travel with. Sometimes we use it, sometimes we don't but when we do need it, it's really great to have. Especially if you have relatives and kids visiting your hotel room. It's very light, no where as heavy as a crate and can be constructed round square or even use it as a room divider.

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June 23, 20170 found this helpful

We have 2 rescue dogs with severe separation anxiety we're trying to overcome, but it's a slow process, so the go with us most everywhere. We have a few chemical cool pads which we leave for our dogs when we have to leave them in the van for any period of time on warmish days. (we don't get too many of those in Northern Michigan) We also have 8"X11" printed cards we leave on the dash and back window explaining about the pads. In a pinch we also buy bagged ice and place it in a super large zipper bag for them to lay near. We always look for shade to park in, leave windows cracked to a safe level, and sometimes if it's a really warm day we'll take a second set of keys and leave the AC running if we're making a quick trip in to a store.
We also ALWAYS leave a large bowl of ice where it's easy to get to and visible for folks to check out.
Despite all that, one time coming out from a 10 min trip into the store we saw a woman about to break our van window with a rock! I got there in time to ask if she'd observed either of our dogs exhibiting any distress? They weren't even panting.

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July 28, 20180 found this helpful

Never ever leave a pet in a running car! We just recently had a policeman leave his canine in his running car while he took a break for lunch.When he got back his canine was dead! The car had stopped running,therefore no air! Do not depend on your car to protect your pets! Furthermore,a cars air does not cool as well when it is just sitting idle.

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