September 27, 2015
Recent estimates by the Travel Industry Association of America say 29.1 million Americans have traveled with a pet in the past three years. I am one of those Americans who not only travels with my pets but actually plan my vacations around events and destinations that my pets will also enjoy. Just like traveling with kids, pets require that you prepare for their needs while on the road and at your vacation destination.
As I prepared for an upcoming trip, I realized how different my packing list has become in recent years. Yes, I still need the traditional items like food, bowls and beds. The internet is full of great information and checklists that assist you in being prepared for those basic needs. However, I found that these checklists have not necessarily kept up with changes in pet care, technology, and available pet products that make life more organized and easier on the road.
TIP: Download The Green Hound’s Travel Checklist to help you prepare.
When I think about traveling with my pets, I find the scariest time is when we are in a car and on the road. Most of these trips I find I am the only human in the car so it is important that I prepare for the unexpected. First and foremost, it is important that I am and my pets are properly identified. In my recent post Beyond the ID Tag, I talk about the importance of making sure you have a way of communicating about how to care for your pets should you be unable to do so. In addition, it is important that your pets wear proper identification. This includes information about where you will be staying at your final destination.
TIP: Check out one of The Green Hound’s favorite products, TagsForHope. These tags are a fun way to create an informative tag for your pet while at the same time giving back to a good cause.
Once the car is packed, I often realize that I have managed to bury all the pets’ needs at the bottom of the pile of luggage. Make sure when you are packing, that you can easily get at important supplies such as water, water bowl, first aid kit, and so forth so that you can properly attend to your pets during the ride. TIP: The Green Hound loves the ParkPack bag which is the perfect bag to carry all your immediate pet needs and supplies. This bag has a pocket for everything in a nice compact size.
It is also important to me to be prepared should my pet need medical attention while on the road. Like over one million other pets in the USA, my pets are covered by pet insurance. It provides me with peace of mind should some unexpected event happen involving their health. Fortunately, this is not something I have had to use very often but if I did, the treating veterinary clinic will likely need to complete all or part of a claim form for you. If you carry insurance, be sure to pack copies of claim forms to avoid delays in reimbursement due to tracking down information when out of town. Along those same lines, what do you do should you be faced with a medical emergency for your pet while away from home?
TIP: Prior to heading out, research veterinary clinics in the area of your destination. Add this information to your phone and GPS. This will save valuable time in obtaining care for your pet should the need arise.
When I travel with my pets I will sometimes leave them alone at the hotel or house where I am staying. I always find this a little unnerving as my “new neighbors” are unlikely to know who I am and where to find me if something should happen. Be sure to take the time to leave information about where you can be reached in the event there is some concern with your pet. For your convenience, download The Green Hound’s door hanger. This door hanger not only lets people know there are pets inside but also allows you to provide information on how people can reach you if needed. In addition to providing contact information, I always take the time to provide an extra level of security at the door.
TIP: When you are staying in a hotel or rental, who knows who might have keys and access to your accommodations. Place a baby gate or an x-pen around the door opening to prevent any potential escapes.
If you are like me and taking precautions such as these are not enough, you might want to consider adding a GPS tracker to your pet. Just like you have a harder time finding your way around when you are away from home, your pet will as well. Don’t spoil a vacation by spending countless hours searching for a lost family member.
TIP: The Green Hound recommends that you check out a product like Gibi to provide that extra layer of protection. If you already have a GPS system for your pet, don’t forget to pack the charging station!
Vacationing with your pet can be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone. Taking time to properly prepare for time away from home will ensure all have a safe and fun time.
Do you have some special travel tips or travel products that The Green Hound readers might be interested in hearing about? If so, contact us and let us know!