10 Essential Pet Items For Holiday Pet Travel


More people travel between pre-Halloween parties and Valentine’s Day than during the rest of each year and when they do, it increasingly includes that beloved family member, the pet.

Furry friends can use a little travel plan of their own, so says the Travel Industry Association of America who maintain 29 million of us who take our buddies along.

These days, travel can be more stressful for Americans than it once was, so preparation is of key import.

10 Essential Pet Items

1. Recent Photo (in case pet is lost).

2. Vaccination and/or Medical Records

3. Any meds your pet needs.

4. Leash

5. Water Container

6. Pet’s usual dietary food.

7. Familiar blanket

8. Favorite toy

9. Necessary cleaning supplies

10. First Aid Kit if needed at home (thermometer, heating pad, ice pak)

It helps to Know before you Go

  • Pets, like people, should be fit, a Vet check up is a good idea.
  • Pets, like people, sometimes get confused and/or lost. You can at least help an awful situation by making certain your best friend wears an up-to-date ID tag at all times even if you’d already gone the ‘chip implant’ route.

    Road Trips

  • Auto travel is outstanding for pets used to riding in a car. For those not so fortunate, even a few short rides prior to the real trip, can help alleviate anxiety. Anyone who has not been riding in a car for some time realizes the sight of landscape passing by causes a dizzy disoriented feeling to the brain and the stomach, at least at first.
  • Regardless of where your pet is in the vehicle, and this cannot be emphasized strongly enough, proper ventilation and temperature control is critical. Animals are unable to handle freezing cold and suffer heat stroke faster then people because of their smaller body size.
  • When the car is moving, pets are safer in a carrier, crate, or the ever popular car seat with safety seat belt. (Skittish pets may distract a driver.)
  • Pets familiar with car rides allowed to move about freely should be kept away from areas where air bags can be deployed in case of accidents.
  • Just like us, pets need to relieve themselves at regular intervals so consideration for their needs makes you a kind, considerate, responsible person.

    Commercial Air Travel

  • Each airline has its own set of regulations and most are at least somewhat different from each other so check policies of your carrier first thing.
  • You are almost assured to need a Vet health certificate. Even if one isn’t demanded, it is a good idea to get one.
  • Arranging your flight to take place during off-peak traffic periods such at pre-dawn or late nights means less airport/airline crowding and confusion. This equates to less stress for everybody, including you and your pet.
  • When your flight schedule includes a layover tell the ticket agent you need one with enough time to take your pet outside for a short walk so it can be allowed to relieve itself.
  • Most airlines will allow cats and dogs small enough (up to 15 lbs) to ride in carriers that fit under the seat in front of you.
  • Keep a leash with you; upon landing, all animals must be removed from carriers at airport security checks.
  • Anticipate paying a pet travel airline fee, anywhere from $60 to $200. Fees usually depend on size and weight of pet as well as the carrier crate.
  • Air Travel Safety crates can be purchased at most local pet stores for a fraction of the prices airlines sell at. Some show up on Internet sites offered by people who used but no longer need them. Try Craig’s List – it covers even different cities than your own. Read Personal Ads in your town newspaper, or eBay.
  • Larger pets who must ride in cargo should have crates brightly marked “Live Animal” on top, bottom, and all sides.
  • Place firmly attached large photo of your pet on top of crate.
  • Crate door should be clearly marked in large letters, “Do Not Open without Owner or Vet Permission”.
  • Add some item your pal is familiar with when putting your buddy in the crate, a favorite toy or blanket, for stress reduction.
  • Avoid chew items that could get caught in their throat during air turbulence.
  • Tranquilizers are a bad idea, always. Air pressure and temperature changes affect all life including our own, drugs are very risky.
  • Inform your plane Captain and flight crew that you have a pet onboard. Always. You are paying for your pet to be cared for.

    Hotel Stays

  • A number of websites offer rapidly increasingly longer lists of pet friendly hotels and motels. Phone ahead to make certain your pet is as welcome as yourself.
  • When checking in, ask which areas of the facility are off-limits to your furry pal, find out where he or she is welcome.
  • Ask for a ground floor room if possible. A room away from much foot traffic is ideal, for your hearing-sensitive friend and your own good night’s sleep undisturbed by doors opening and closing in the middle of the night.
  • Toss a sheet over any furniture likely to be affected by your pet, especially in hot weather when at the height of shedding that winter fur coat.
  • Keep your pet on a leash outside your own room.
  • During wet or snowy winter weather being courteous by wiping your pet’s feet as you re-enter the building makes you a truly welcome guest.
  • When leaving your pet alone in the room turn a radio or TV on, volume low so your buddy doesn’t feel alone.
  • Hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door as you leave so a pet is less likely to be alerted by housecleaning or some stranger knocking.
  • Be prepared for change in your own plans in the event of excessive barking.
  • When taking your pet with you be aware only those wearing “Service Dog’ tags or patches are allowed in dining or pool areas.
  • Any scratching, chewing, or other violation to the room, any damage should be promptly reported to the desk clerk. It will be discovered anyway. You are better off to acknowledge and offer to make good on it. We all are. That way we all remain pet-friendly-welcome next time around.

    Copyright (c) 2007 Strasbaugh – www.writerset.com

  • Claudia Strasbaugh was a freelance writer who founded Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa Writer’s Guild, was head writer for the weekly TV show “Kill ‘EM With Comedy”, plus California Bureau Chief for National Lotto World Magazine. Claudia also ran a non profit called Dinner On A Dollar. Sadly, Claudia passed away in 2015, but we are pleased to display her writing works.