Pets On Vacation

shibas zuko & taro on the vacation home couch
Dogs on vacation home
Since our pet is a family member, we want the pet to come along when we go on vacation. Sometimes this works wonderfully and sometimes it's better to leave her at home. Before you decide whether to take your pet with you on your vacation, please consider how you are going to travel, where you are staying, what you will be doing on your vacation and the personality of your pet.

An important consideration is to look at how you will be traveling. If you're going by car, you should think about how well your pet does on long car rides. If you're going by air, is your pet small enough to go in a carrier that you can bring on the plane with you? Lastly, if you're travelling in an RV, think about whether your pet likes to ride in the RV or if she's prone to getting motion sickness.

Another important thing to look at is where you will be staying and if pets are allowed. Most campgrounds will allow pets as long as they don't disturb the other campers. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times, even at the campsite. If you're camping at the beach and anticipating long walks on the beach, make sure ahead of time that dogs are allowed on the beach. More and more hotels are pet-friendly, but you need to check this out in advance. Some only offer a limited number of rooms and sometimes they are "smoking" rooms. Perhaps you're going to be staying in your RV and this is fine as long as your pet is not going to be left alone in a potentially hot vehicle. There is also the vacation rental option and many of these are pet-friendly too. 

You should also think about what you will be doing on your vacation. If your pet is going to be left alone a lot while you go hiking, biking, touring, skiing, shopping, and dining, maybe it would be better to leave your pet at home with a trusted pet sitter.

Other considerations before deciding to take your pet along on your vacation include:

  • Your dog or cat's temperament. Do they like change, like to try new things? Are they friendly to strangers?
  • Do you have a high energy puppy or high maintenance older dog?
  • Take a look at the size of your pet. Often times, too big is more of a problem than too small.
  • The weather on your vacation. Too hot or too cold spells discomfort for your 4-footed friends.
It's possible for you and your pet to have a great time on vacation if you consider how you are getting there, where you are staying, and what you will be doing while on the vacation. Make special provisions for your pets and you will all have an enjoyable time.
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