Planning Your Pet Vacation

Nowadays, family vacations have taken on a whole new meaning. Vacation planning no longer includes Mom, Dad, Grandma and the kids. Now "Rover" has also made his way onto the vacation list. As time goes on, family pets seem to have become simply one of the kids. With this in mind, is it any wonder that more families are planning a pet vacation when it becomes time to getaway?
If you were to visit the airport today and simply observe those traveling to various destinations you may be surprised at the growing number of dogs traveling. This also holds true for road trips as well. The bottom line is that more people are choosing to include their animals in their travel plans. Some like to view it as a pet vacation while others prefer to travel with their beloved pet rather than leave him or her in the care of a kennel or friend/family member.

People who are planning a pet vacation may be surprised at how accommodating airlines and hotels can be when it comes to traveling with your cat or dog. Travel related companies have become aware of the importance of one’s four legged family members and are now offering pet vacation options which allow the owners the luxury of bringing their dog or cat with them on their trip.

The best advice for planning your pet vacation is to start doing so well in advance and to do your research. While it is definitely becoming more common for people to vacation with their dog or cat, there are still many hotels that will not allow animals. The ones that do take animals as guests usually limit this to one floor or a certain block of rooms. It is not advisable to rely on getting one of those select few rooms at the last minute. To avoid being stuck in a position when you arrive at the hotel, you are really best to call weeks in advance (possibly even months) to reserve and pay for the room. When you do this, be sure to request and record your conformation number. This could come in handy when you check in.

The same advice can be given for booking your pet a plane ticket. Most air carriers do offer the service but due to Transport Canada regulations, they are limited in the numbers of animals that can fly on the plane in both the cabin and the cargo pits. This is particularly true during busy seasons such as Christmas time when travelers tend to fly with more checked baggage, which further limits weight and room restrictions on the plane. If you are traveling by plane with your pet be sure to check what their regulations are in regards to weight, crates and other guidelines. These can vary from one airline to another but they are all in place with the safety of your pet inline. Once again, this is something you will want to do well in advance to avoid any confusion on the day of your travel. The cost for air travel for your pet will also vary from airline to airline and may be dependant on the size of the crate that your animal is traveling in.

Finally, another thing to keep in mind regarding your pet vacation is precautions that you can take to ensure that your pet is going to travel safely and comfortably. Be sure to plane adequate rest stops on the way, pack fresh water in a container that is easy for your pet to drink from, bring more then enough food in case you end up delayed and try to bring something from home that will help to ease an anxious pet. This can be a familiar blanket or toy. If your pet is a particularly nervous travel or if he/she suffers from motion sickness your vet will be able to help medicate your pet so their journey is more comfortable for them.
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