Our pets are bona fide members of the family. That means we don't want them missing out on the fun times we spend together, including vacations. Many pet owners have joked about taking their beloved cat or dog on vacation with them, but is it really possible? And would it be good for the animal? Let's take a look at some factors that you should consider when deciding whether to take your furry friend on vacation or to leave them at home.
Staying Close To Home
One of the biggest obstacles to taking your pet on vacation with you is obvious: transportation. Even though some airlines do allow cats and dogs to fly with them, they may require your pet to be placed in with your baggage. This isn't something most pet owners are willing to consider. So, staying close to home may be a smart choice if including your pet is a deal breaker.
Being within driving distance keeps you in control of your pet's comfort and allows them to travel alongside you without getting too distressed. The question you must ask yourself is, are you willing to sacrifice a trip abroad to assure that your pet travels with you? Now, if you were already planning on taking a trip to a great location that's only an hour or two away, then everyone's a winner!
What Activities Are Suitable?
It's important to have a clear idea of the kind of vacation you want to have and then decide whether it's suitable or not for your pet. For example, consider the activities you will be doing on your vacation. A beach holiday may be suitable for your kitty if you are staying in a private cabin, but not so much if you are staying in a hotel. The same applies for a ski holiday.
Don't forget to factor in the weather and what your pets need to be comfortable. (It goes without saying that a sightseeing city break in a summer heatwave wouldn't be suitable for your pet). If you truly want to take your pet along with you, then it's important to put their needs and comfort first.
Traveling with your pet may not be as simple as you think. Just as with any family vacation, you should do some research and forward planning. For example, did you know that your pet requires their own passport if you are traveling to another country? Then there are vaccinations and dietary concerns to evaluate.
Also, pack a bag for your pet just as you would for yourself and your kids. Yes, just like you, they will need food, a bed, possibly medication if applicable and general home comforts. And, don't forget to look into pet-friendly attractions such as beaches, parks and restaurants. Researching these things in advance will ensure the vacation is enjoyable for all.
In Case Of Emergencies
Unfortunately, emergencies happen, even on vacations. Prepare yourself by creating a list of local vets in the area you'll be visiting. Just like humans, pets can get sick on vacation and require medical attention so having these details ready will save a lot of time and stress in that unlikely event.
It's important to consider the safety of not only you and your pet, but other people and their pets as well. Think about how your pet reacts to new environments and strange people. Do they become nervous, are they likely to snap? Do they have problems getting along with other dogs or cats? If so, then it may not be a great idea to take them along with you.
Bottom line: when it comes to vacationing with your pet, remember that you are bringing them for their own enjoyment as much as your own. You know their personality better than anyone, so follow your gut - will they enjoy the new experience, or will they pine for home?
Author Bio - Stuart Cooke works at Uni Baggage. They help travelers to send their luggage ahead to their destination. Sometimes this includes their pet's luggage as well!