You’re not the only one with a hankering to hit the open road. Fido and Felix need a change of scenery, too! Consider these tips while planning your trip. Then, once you have packed some essentials and taken them to the groomer, you’ll be free to take off on an adventure with your furry family. Pick a Place with Your Pet in Mind What are the most pet-friendly destinations? Animal Fair, the lifestyle magazine for pet owners, is a good reference. Certain destinations, like Portland, ME and Nantucket, Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard in MA, are well known as pet-friendly places, with more than a fair share of lodging and dining options, parks, trails, and even pet boutiques. Several chains have pet-friendly policies which include everything from oversized pet pillows, plush doggie robes, to check-in gift packages that include a pet toy, dog treat, ID tag, bone and turn down treat. Others have pet-friendly perks like menus, day-care and playgrounds. These accommodations in the northeast are pet-friendly. Their EscapeMaker.com listings, found here, provide other information, too. In its latest pet traveling guide, the PetBook® , AAA lists more than 13,000 AAA-approved hotels, campgrounds and attractions that accept pets, an amount which increases every year. Certain major hotel chains are well-known for their pet-friendly policies, including Best Western, Red Roof Inn, and Holiday Inn. Be forewarned that most will charge a nonrefundable fee for pets, and many have a size limit. Campgrounds generally offer more flexible pet policies, provided that guests show a considerate amount of “petiquette,” and make sure their pet is well-behaved. Luckily, pet owners are more than willing to share their travel experiences and recommendations online. There are several web sites that list pet-friendly hotels, beaches, restaurants, and attractions, including PetFriendlyTravel.com and DogFriendlyHotels.org What to Pack? Ask your pet’s veterinarian for a copy of your pet’s records, including certifications, allergy info, medical history, and vaccination records. Then, head to the pet store with this list of travel products in hand:
- Animal first-aid kit – Include bandages, antiseptic cream, antidiarrheal medication, prescription medication, tick removal tool, etc.
- Travel tag — Add one on your pet’s collar with information on where you’re staying and your cell phone number.
- Extra leash
- Sleeping bag or travel bed
- Travel sizes — Wash, rinse, bar soap, and collapsible water bowl
- Buckle safety system — Adjustable harness that attaches to a seat belt
- Vehicle ramp — To facilitate getting in and out of SUV’s, RV’s, trucks, etc.
- Car seat cover – Look for odor repellent, machine washable fabrics
- Weather gear – Coats to wear in rainy or cold conditions