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Tips and Tricks for Traveling with Pets

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It’s a common dilemma.  You and your family are getting ready to go on vacation.  You’ve got your hotels booked, your route planned, and your itinerary set.  There’s only one problem.  One of your family members has four legs and fur.  If you booked pet-friendly lodging in the Black Hills, like the Powder House Lodge, you have a little less to stress about.  But there’s still the question of how to deal with traveling with pets.  We’re here to give you some tips and tricks on how to make traveling with pets enjoyable for everyone.

Schedule Extra Time: This sounds like an obvious rule, but it’s one that many people hear…but don’t practice when traveling with pets.  Allowing for extra time when traveling with pets is necessary because it allows your pet to work off some stress and anxiety when they get out of the car and walk around.  You might not mind driving for six straight hours, but chances are, your pet will start to get anxious.  Take in the sights along your route.  Besides, you’re on vacation.  Enjoy the entire journey, not just the destination. 

Keep a Clean Bill of Health: Make sure your pet is up to date on all of their vaccinations. If your pet is going to be riding on an airplane, check the airline rules for pet travel well in advance of your vacation date. Most require a health certificate dated within 10 days of the travel date. If you are traveling abroad, the regulations will vary but can include submitting entry permits and a more detailed interstate health permit. If there is an outbreak of disease, some places will require automatic quarantine upon arrival. These variables will take some research on your part, so be sure to cover all of the bases so that you do not have any surprises on the day of your travel.
ID Mr. Fluffles: Your pet should always have identification. Prepare for the unexpected when traveling with pets and place an ID tag on their collar with your cell phone number. You will also want to have proof of vaccination and proper licenses. It is a good idea to have a few color photos of your pet with you also in the unfortunate case they get lost.
On the Road Again: Driving with your pet can be a fun and memorable experience.  Remember though, if you leave your car, your pet should leave the car as well.  Many pets die each year from heat exhaustion. If left alone in hot cars for even a short period of time, the results can be fatal.  If you do need to park, be sure your car is in the shade to help keep the temperature inside cool. Never let your pet jump around or hang out of an open window – it is not safe for you or your pet. If you have a strong, mesh crate large enough for your pet to turn around, stand and lay down, line the bottom with a few towels and keep your pet secured inside for the ride. Remember to make frequent stops for exercise, food, and water when traveling with pets. If your pet is not accustomed to riding in a car, start with short increments and gradually increase road time over the course of a few weeks prior to your trip.
Enjoy Your Stay: When you reach your pet-friendly lodging destination in the Black Hills, go on a long walk with your pet.  You’re tired from travelling all day, but your pet is anxious, curious, and excited about this new place.  There’s a lot of pent up energy in your furry friend and it needs to be released.  A recently exercised pet will be in a more relaxed state during any long trip. It’s natural for your pet to be a little nervous around new people. They’re out of their element and may not exhibit normal behavior. This isn’t because they’re being aggressive, but because they’re just a little freaked out and need reassurance that everything’s under control. If you pull your pet away from the new person, you’re indicating that there is something wrong and they’ll panic more. Again, be calm and assertive and show your pet that you’ve got it covered.
Keeping these tips in mind while traveling with pets will make for an enjoyable trip for both of you. If your pet is overly fussy, you may want to consider arrangements to not bring him or her along, as a vacation with pets should be enjoyable for everyone. It is not recommended to travel with reptiles, birds and small animals, as they can be very stressed by changes in their environment.  Book your next stay in the Black Hills at the Powder House Lodge and Restaurant.  We offer pet-friendly lodging in the Black Hills to accommodate you and your entire family, furry or not.  We’re open from mid-May through Mid-October and our restaurant features breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Call us today at 1-800-321-0692 to make your reservations.  Don’t forget to Like Us on Facebook to stay up to date with attractions and events around the Black Hills.

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