Vacation Time: How to Take Your Pets on Holiday

by on July 27, 2012

in Cats, Dogs

by Louise Blake

A summer vacation is a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time with your family; so many wonderful memories can come from these annual adventures.

Photo courtesy of David Hunt


But have you ever thought about bringing your pet along for the ride too? This will make your holiday even more special. It may seem like a hassle now, but traveling with your pets needn’t be a chore, just follow this handy guide to make sure you and your furry friend have fun and stay safe once you hit the road!

Before you go

Before you travel with your pet, it’s essential to research your destination. Do you need a pet passport? Will your accommodation allow you to bring pets? Check in advance to ensure a smooth trip. The US Department of State has great advice on quarantine restrictions – if you’re traveling abroad you may need to vaccinate your pet against additional diseases. Even if your pet is healthy and doesn’t require any extra shots, it’s worth taking them to the vet for a check-up before going abroad or on an extended trip.

Road trip

Car journeys can often be the most stressful part of a summer holiday, so make your journey problem-proof. Ensure you have plenty of fresh water and bring some toys or bedding from home for your pet to feel more comfortable. Marking rest spots that have green space for your dog to run around in on your map is also a great idea.

You may also want to consider purchasing some sunshades for the back of your car to keep your pet out of direct sunlight, and be sure to keep the windows of your car slightly open, to allow fresh air to circulate.

If you’re traveling with children, it’s just as necessary for them to have plenty of entertainment too, as playing with your puss or pup while traveling is unsafe for both the child and the animal, and can cause accidents.

Once you get there

Photo courtesy of Kirstin Bradley


If you’ve had a lengthy journey, your pet will most likely want to stretch its legs. Find a safe space where you can take him or her for a walk.

Once you and your family are settled into your holiday accommodation, you will also want to pay attention to the rules of the country, state or town you’re in:

Are you allowed to let your dog off his leash?

Does your cat need to be wearing her collar at all times?

Look out for appropriate signs and ask your hotel or campsite manager if you’re unsure.

The key to traveling with a safe and happy pet is simple: Preparation before travel. Animals can be unpredictable, but by doing your research in advance, you and your pet will be able to make the most of your vacation together.


Louise Blake is a passionate animal lover and writer who blogs for several pet websites and companies. She is currently attempting to train her boxer puppy, Harley, but he frequently outsmarts her at every opportunity he gets!

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Judi, Senior Editor at PetsBlogs
Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi spent her time working in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barbara W. July 31, 2012 at 11:54 am

Great advice for anyone considering travelling with their pets. Especially good advice for cat owners as it’s easy to remember a leash for your dog or to let them wonder around under your supervision, but for a cat to stretch its legs outside it’s important to buy a leash for it.

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2 mulberry Sale August 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm

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