Tried and Tested Tips for Preparing Your Pet for a Long Vacation Have a fun-filled vacation with pets

Tried and Tested Tips for Preparing Your Pet for a Long Vacation

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Vacations can be stressful for you and your pet, but they don't have to be. The article highlights some key tips to help make your next trip with a pet less stressful and more fun.

If you've ever taken a long trip with your pet, you've likely had at least one hiccup. Maybe your pet was nervous, or he got sick from something he ate on the plane or in the hotel room. Or maybe something else went wrong, and you're left worrying about whether it's safe for your furry friend to travel again with you. Fortunately, there are many things you can do ahead of time to prepare yourself and your pet for a safe and healthy trip, including buying all the necessary pet supplies. Here are some tips for making sure everything goes smoothly:

Prepare Ahead

Before your vacation, make sure you're prepared. If you have a cat or dog, start by getting them used to the large dog crate. Make sure they are comfortable with being in there and stay calm while in it. Next, get them used to the car, not just sitting inside but playing around and jumping in and out of it with the doors open and closed. Also, give them basic training exercises like staying or sitting for treats. The same goes for hotels; even though you may not be staying at one during your trip, having your pet become comfortable with staying in one can help ease their stress level when traveling later on down the road. Finally, if driving an RV is part of your vacation plans, work on getting that RV ready ahead of time.

You can also consider giving them calming treats for dogs to ensure they stay calm and relaxed while traveling. But, again, you can consult your Vet for a particular brand or dosage you can give your pet.

Have Your Pet Examined by a Vet

Make sure your pet is healthy. A routine checkup with the Vet will ensure that your furry friend is in tip-top shape and ready to travel.

Make sure vaccinations are up to date. You should vaccinate your pet against rabies, distemper, parvo, and kennel cough. Most vets recommend annual booster shots for dogs and cats. However, depending on their lifestyle or activities, some animals may need additional vaccines.

Make sure medical records are up-to-date with a copy of any medications a veterinarian prescribes. It may include heartworm prevention medication or flea/tick treatment products like:

  • Frontline Plus or Advantage II for cats/dogs;

  • Advantix for dogs;

  • Bravecto for dogs;

  • Vectra 3D Topical Solution for dogs or Revolution flea control medication is available by prescription from your veterinarian.

Plan Your Trip

Make sure you know where you will stay and how long, as well as the address, phone number, and local laws about pets in that area. If your pet requires special care or pet medication, make sure you have enough for the trip. Also, consider what the weather will be like during your travel date(s). You should also plan on contacting a veterinarian in case of emergencies while away from home.

Know How to Contact the Vet in Your Vacation Spot

Ask the Vet you are seeking advice from if they have a 24-hour emergency service available. If not, ensure you have a list of local vets and their contact information. This way, if your pet has an unexpected problem while you are away or requires immediate attention, you can contact one of these vets without trying to search for them in the middle of the night.

You should also try to determine if there is a 24-hour emergency clinic near where you will be staying with your pet. If not, make sure that on top of contacting the local Vet in case of an emergency, you also have information on where to take your pet if they need urgent care.

Keep All Necessary Pet Supplies with You

As you plan for your pet's journey, it is a good idea to bring along any supplies that may be necessary. For example, if your pet is on medication, bringing extra doses in case of delays or accidents will ensure they are secure while traveling. It can also be beneficial to have certain supplies on hand just in case something happens while you're away from home.

Here's a list of items that could come in handy during long car rides:

  • Food and water dog bowls

  • Grooming tools like brush, flea comb, nail trimmer, etc

  • Your pet's favorite toys

  • Pet first aid kit with medications such as antacids or pain relievers

  • Cleaning supplies like disinfectant wipes/spray bottles filled with warm water and vinegar mix, if possible

Plan for Comfort by Bringing Familiar Items from Home.

Make sure you plan for your pet's comfort. You can accomplish it by bringing familiar items from home, such as:

In addition to those things that are familiar and comfortable for your pet, it's also important to pack some familiar and comfortable items for you too. For example, your favorite pillow or blanket.

Consider Using a Crate for Travel Comfort and Safety

If you're going to be away from your pet for a long period, consider using a crate. A crate can help your pet adjust to the crate and feel more secure while traveling. It also helps prevent accidents in the car and when you are away from home. If your dog has never been crated before, start introducing her to it in short sessions and eventually work up to full-day stays over several weeks.

Crate training isn't appropriate for every dog or situation. If you know your pup will be scared or disturbed by being confined in such close quarters, don't force them into one. But if they seem comfortable with it and seem like types that would enjoy spending time alone, try it out.

Make Sure Your Pet Has Proper Identification

If your pet is lost, it can be returned to you. If it's stolen, you can prove ownership. And if your pet is injured and needs veterinary attention, an ID tag will help prove that you are responsible for the animal.

Pet identification tags come in many shapes and sizes, from simple to extremely fancy. They can be made from various materials, including leather, metal, plastic, and even cloth. Some have room for information such as breed, sex, and date of birth; others feature photos or personalized messages on the dog collar with their name.

Pet-Proof Your Room, Car, or RV

It is the most important step to take before you leave. You want your pet to be safe and comfortable but also well-behaved. Start by ensuring your home is safe for pets by hiding things like cleaning supplies, medications, and anything else your pet might eat or get into.

Make sure you have a comfortable crate or carrier for your pet. If not using a crate, ensure your pup doesn't jump out of the vehicle while moving around. Another tip: Bring any favorite toys or treats they enjoy while traveling. It'll make their time spent with you even more enjoyable and easier for everyone.

Check Out the Local Laws

Before you hit the road with your pet, it's important to check out the local laws concerning pets in the area where you will be traveling. For example, some places may restrict where you can take your pet or how much time they can spend outside while you're traveling. If this is the case, make sure to plan accordingly. For example: if it turns out that a lot of hotels won't allow dogs and cats on their property, then perhaps staying in an Airbnb instead might work better for everyone involved.

Keep the Pet Grooming Kit Along

The pet grooming kit should include a dog brush, comb, shampoo, towel, and toothbrush. If you have special instructions for your groomer, share them with the groomer when you drop off your pet. Finding good toys while traveling can be difficult, so having some of their favorites on hand might make the transition easier for everyone.


To help make things go smoothly on your vacation, it's a good idea to prepare ahead of time. Make sure your pet has proper identification and vaccinations, a microchip, a health certificate, and an appointment with the Vet before you leave town. In addition, if your pet travels by plane or train, be sure to contact the airline or train service provider in advance for specific animal transport requirements.

We hope these tips will make your next vacation safe and fun for you and your pet. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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