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Tips for traveling with pets

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Tips for traveling with pets

With Memorial Day fast approaching, can the annual family vacation be far behind? That means that once again, many pet lovers will be faced with the dilemma of what do with their pets while they travel.

 
A 2009 Travel Industry Association survey indicated that 14 percent, or more than 29 million people, said they have taken a pet on a trip that was more than 50 miles away from home. Traveling animals included cats (15 percent), birds (2 percent), and either a ferret, rabbit or fish (3 percent). But 78 percent of the respondents listed the family dog as the most common traveling pet.
 
The inconvenient change from normal routine doesn't matter much to a dog as long as it is not separated from its family. Dog owners feel the same way. Forty-three percent of pet owners said they feel guilty about leaving their dogs behind.
 
Dogtrekker.com, an online site that scopes out pet-friendly places to stay while vacationing, recently released results from a 2011 analysis of American leisure travelers that indicates eight out of 10 people who bring their dogs along when they travel find hotel policies and amenities important when selecting accommodations.
 
"What really stood out was not the numbers of those who travel with dogs, but the reasons why leisure travel dog owners do not travel with their dogs," said David Kendrick, who founded Dogtrekker with his wife, Roxanne.
travel with dogs
 
"Over 40 percent said that finding dog-friendly accommodations was difficult; a third said that their dog's safety was a concern and over 30 percent said that finding things to do with (a) dog was difficult," Kendrick said.
 
Of dog travelers, 43.6 percent said there is a poor selection of truly pet-friendly hotels and 17.2 percent said concerns about finding doggie day care in their vacation location kept them from bringing their dog along on trips.
 
"This survey sends a huge message to the lodging industry. The influence of this significant group of leisure travelers is rising and hoteliers should take note of their concern about expensive hotel pet fees and confusion over pet-friendly policies," he said.
 
A hotel that promotes itself as "pet friendly" can really mean "pet tolerant," and only just so. Many times the staff is really more interested in getting your business than welcoming your pet.
 
No pets left unattended in the room"No pets left unattended in the room" is the norm, said Janet Fullwood, senior editor of DogTrekker who was travel editor for the Sacramento Bee for 22 years.
 
"This is because a dog left in an unfamiliar environment can bark, whine, scratch, panic, tear up the furniture or otherwise cause a disturbance, damage property or terrify the housekeeping staff. Some properties' exception is the dog is crated," she said.
 
Planning for a trip that includes your pet is essential, said Fullwood, who shared this personal story about the headaches the unprepared traveler can run into on the road.
 
"The first time my family traveled with our new dog, we patted ourselves on the back for finding a dog-friendly hotel – and ended up eating in shifts at a Chinese restaurant across the street when we found out we couldn't leave him alone, even in a crate."
 
But the rule doesn't apply just to canines. I once heard of a couple who traveled with pet parrots. The birds put up such a fuss when their humans left them alone, the manager used a public address system to ask them to return to their room.
 
Pet sitters are an option during dinner, Fullwood said, "but their services can easily cost more than a meal itself." She said that many times, traveling with a pet requires compromise.
 
Fullwood provided these tips to help make your travel plans a vacation for every member of the family.
 
- Always speak with a live person before booking a hotel or vacation rental that claims to be dog-friendly. Many properties won't accept certain breeds, some have weight restrictions and some allow pets only in their most undesirable rooms. Pet fees can be per day or per stay, so be sure to clarify.
 
- Don't take off on a camping or hiking trip assuming that your dog can accompany you on trails. At many state and national parks, canines are restricted to campgrounds. Rules in national forests tend to be more relaxed.
 
- To minimize canine-caused distractions on the road, make sure your dog is safely secured in a crate or with a seat belt leash or harness.
 
- Familiar food, toys, bedding and other comforts from home will help the animal be more relaxed in new environments. Bring a gallon or so of water from home to minimize stomach upsets, and pack cleanup supplies and old towels for muddy feet. If you allow dogs on furniture at home, bring a sheet to cover beds and couches in hotel rooms.
 
- Make sure your dog is microchipped and has an ID tag that includes your cell-phone number. Tuck a copy of shot records in your canine travel kit and carry photos, just in case.
 
- "Leave no trace" principles are not just for camping. Always, always pick up after your dog.
 
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/16/2801992/tips-for-traveling-with-pets.html#storylink=cpy

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61 comments on “Tips for traveling with pets

  1. Linda Sanders on said:

    Good post. I'm glad I read about fish, and I think I really learned a lot from the post.

  2. Edward Jackson on said:

    A nice read on pets on a nice afternoon.

  3. John Barnes on said:

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  4. Jason Adams on said:

    I've always wondered about this topic; the article about cats really explained a lot.

  5. Kenneth James on said:

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  6. Christopher Thompson on said:

    Excellent article about turtles. Thought-provoking.

  7. Christopher Bailey on said:

    That's good writting on pets.

  8. Donna Richardson on said:

    Great introduction and information on animals.

  9. Peter Diaz on said:

    I liked the post on rabbits. It kept me interested!

  10. Eric James on said:

    Good article. Good blog. Good post about puppies.

  11. Daniel Bryant on said:

    Thanks for the article on cats. It was helpful, clear, and comprehensive.

  12. Melissa Bryant on said:

    Fantastic job on the article about parakeets. I really learned a lot from it.

  13. Kathleen Barnes on said:

    turtles is a good topic, and it is nice to see it cabouted so well.

  14. Carolyn Barnes on said:

    Good post about fish. I couldn't ask for a better, more comprehensive post.

  15. Andrew Wilson on said:

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  16. Larry Patterson on said:

    Thanks for the article about parakeets. A great article and an interesting topic.

  17. Virginia Kelly on said:

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  18. Donald Long on said:

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  19. Kimberly Morgan on said:

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  20. Amy Edwards on said:

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  21. Michael Henderson on said:

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  22. Jerry Brown on said:

    Good read with the article on dogs.

  23. Jason Richardson on said:

    Good article on dogs.

  24. Henry Jones on said:

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  25. Anthony Allen on said:

    Fantastic job on the article about parakeets. I really learned a lot from it.

  26. Karen Sanders on said:

    The article about animals really answered some of the question I had about the topic.

  27. Pamela Green on said:

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  28. Joshua Edwards on said:

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  29. Scott Rivera on said:

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  30. Robert Rogers on said:

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  31. Andrew Moore on said:

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  32. Catherine Rogers on said:

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  33. Joyce Diaz on said:

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  34. Karen Morris on said:

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  35. Anna Cooper on said:

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  36. Debra Cook on said:

    That was a good read about turtles.

  37. Charles Gonzales on said:

    Good article about turtles. It really made me think about how it all works.

  38. Frances Murphy on said:

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  39. Thomas Davis on said:

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  40. Alice Bryant on said:

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  41. Timothy Rogers on said:

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  42. Ruth Rodriguez on said:

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  43. Christine Campbell on said:

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  44. Elizabeth Baker on said:

    Good article on dogs.

  45. Jeffrey Wright on said:

    Great work on dogs. I liked the middle part – it answered a lot of the questions I've had on the subject.

  46. Daniel King on said:

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  47. Anna Bell on said:

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  48. Jessica Cooper on said:

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  49. Scott Henderson on said:

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  50. Carolyn Young on said:

    The article on dogs was very good.

  51. Melissa Moore on said:

    The article on pets was quality and worth the time.

  52. James Peterson on said:

    I've always wondered about this topic; the article about cats really explained a lot.

  53. Stephen Coleman on said:

    Good read on puppies.

  54. Sharon James on said:

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  55. Richard Long on said:

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  56. Edward Bryant on said:

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  57. Ryan Cooper on said:

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  58. Gregory Smith on said:

    I really liked the article about fish.

  59. Andrew Morris on said:

    Good article on dogs.

  60. Sandra Walker on said:

    This article on animals was very good.

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