Traveling With Your Pets

As the holidays approach, many of you may be making plans to travel out of state or out of the country. Making arrangements for pets is one of the decisions you will have to make.

Traveling by Car

When traveling in a car, pets should always be secured either in a kennel, carrier, or strapped into harnesses attached to seat belts. It is unsafe for the animal, passenger, and driver to allow pets to sit in the driver’s lap or roam around the car free.  The passengers and/or the pets could be injured or killed in the event of a sudden stop or accident.

Panels are available to place behind the second row seats to separate a larger dog from the rest of the car. If forced to put your pet in the back of a pickup truck, be sure to place them in a protective kennel and secure the kennel to the bed of the truck. Cats and small dogs should always be secured in a carrier.

Do some practice runs with the pets in their restraints, carriers, or kennels so they get used to the motion. Many cats will howl the whole time they are moving. You may need to talk with your vet about a tranquilizer for nervous pets.  Plan to make frequent stops for bathroom breaks and exercise.

Traveling by Plane

Many airlines allow dogs and cats to fly with their owners, either in the cabin for small pets or in the hold for larger dogs. Check with the airline for their rules and requirements for transporting pets. Most small pets must be in carriers that fit beneath the seats. Airlines charge additional fees for pets traveling with owners and require proof of vaccinations including rabies. Is your pet chipped in case it gets lost?

Staying in Hotels, Friends, and Family

When making hotel reservations, look for pet friendly accommodations. Ask about special areas for walking dogs and be a good pet owner and pick up after your pet. If you are staying with friends and family, ask about allergies your hosts may have to pets and if they are okay with you bringing your pet. Consider whether your pet will be friendly with your hosts’ pets.


You need to start now making reservations if you haven’t already. Planes and hotels will be filling up very soon. If you opt to leave your pet in a boarding facility, you will need to research them and make reservations there also. Have a great trip!