A family vacation isn't necessarily just for the two-legged. While traveling outside of the country is an entirely different ball game, a 2018 pet travel survey by GoPetFriendly.com found that nearly a third of pet owners were planning at least six trips with their four-legged friends that year.
Whether you've just purchased one of the Burlington houses for sale in Vermont and prefer to stick around the New England area of the country, or you're planning to head somewhere else, these tips can help make for a smooth and fun trip with your pets.
Get Some Practice Runs In
If your pet isn't used to long car rides, get ready by taking some practice runs with short drives first, and then gradually increase the time. Bring Fido or Fluffy somewhere fun, like a dog park or a beach where they can run around and have a good time, that way they'll associate getting in the car with something positive. Along the way, talk reassuringly to them so that they feel more comfortable.
Bring Your Pet's Vaccination Record and Be Sure Tags are Up to Date
In case of an accident or illness while you're out on the road, be sure to bring your pet's vaccination record. If for some reason boarding becomes necessary, even if it's only for a day, you'll need that record too. As accidents can happen, if your dog gets loose and runs off in an unknown area, it's a must to ensure that the information on their tag (and/or microchip) is up to date too.
Search for Pet-Friendly Hotels
Assuming that you'll be staying in hotels, along the way and/or once you arrive at your destination, you'll want to be sure you've reserved pet-friendly rooms. There are tens of thousands of options across the U.S., in fact. BringFido.com has one of the most comprehensive listings out there, including pet-friendly hotels, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds.
Bring a Crate
Having a crate with you will allow you to keep your pet in a safe place while you're dining out in a restaurant and during other times you can't take them along. One that's collapsible is best as it won't take up a ton of room in your car when you aren't using it. If your dog isn't used to being crated, practice first by making it feel like it's their own special home, putting some favorite toys and one of your old shirts inside. Use positive reinforcement, rewarding your animal with a treat, and never use the crate to punish, or you'll get the opposite result.
Provide Plenty of Water and Bathroom Breaks
Get a small water bowl that can be stabilized near your pet so they can drink at their leisure. Don't force them to wait until you stop to go to the restroom or for gas. Remember that your dog will also need relief, with plenty of breaks to allow them to do their business and enjoy stretching their legs too. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises stopping every two to three hours for your animal to use the bathroom and get some exercise.