How many times have you heard someone say she doesn’t want to adopt a pet because she wouldn’t be able to travel? Pets can travel too! And that includes cats. Help educate the animal lovers in your community about traveling with their pets using these ideas:
Conduct a pet travel contest. Ask pet parents to submit their favorite travel tips for pets, funny stories about pet travel, their pets’ travel diary, photos of their pets on the road, etc. You could announce a year-long contest for the pet who travels the most miles. At the end of the year, the owner can submit photos of their dog enjoying national parks, hiking in the mountains, etc. Ask for cat travel stories; most people think cats can’t travel.
Design a “traveling with pets” page on your website. Include tips on what to take, how to find pet-friendly hotels, etc.
Submit an article about traveling with pets to your local newspaper. Showcase a couple of pets, maybe a dog and a cat, who enjoy traveling and offer travel tips from their owners. Include stories of how much they enjoy having their pets with them when they travel.
Include on pet website adoption pages “likes to travel” for pets who enjoy riding in the car. Often foster pet parents know about this and can let the shelter know. If you place ads in your local newspaper showcasing adoptable pets, mention “loves to ride in the car.”
When you’re ready to travel with your pet, use these tips:
Driving with Pets from the Pet Travel Center has a good list of tips for driving, including securing your pet, a first aid kit for your pet, limiting food intake before your trip, and more.
Petswelcome.com lists hotels that accept pets nationwide. Search more than one pet-friendly lodging website. It’s very hard for anyone’s site to be totally comprehensive. Do a search with “pet-friendly travel” and you’ll find many sites listing pet accommodations. Also, enter “pet friendly” or “pets welcome” + lodging + “city, state” in your favorite search engine to go directly to the websites of hotels that allow pets. I’ve used this technique many times.
Pet Air Travel & Airline Pet Travel Policies link to different air travel policies for pets. Many carriers allow pets in the cabin area. I personally would never let my pets travel as cargo or checked baggage. You can also search for pet-friendly lodging at this site.
Take your pet’s medical records with you showing they’ve been vaccinated in case of an emergency.
Look up emergency veterinary clinics for the area you’ll be traveling in. Print out this information including phone numbers, addresses and maps before you leave home.
When booking a room with your pets:
If a non-smoking room is important to you, make sure you can book a pet-friendly room in a nonsmoking room. Some hotels place pets in smoking rooms only.
We ask that we get no maid service when our kitties are in the room. We don’t want to take the chance of them darting out to explore if the door were opened while we’re away. Do this by leaving the “do not disturb” tag on your doorknob. We also call the maid service telephone number to inform them. And, we put our own sign on the door stating “no maid service.” Finally, we try to make personal contact with the maids in the hallway to tell them no service is needed. At that time we get fresh towels or other needs for the room.
Our cats have traveled by car all over Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. They’ve stayed in city hotels and mountain cabins. In fact, they always go with us when we travel by car. We discovered we could travel with them when our diabetic kitty Sam nearly died from hypoglycemia when being boarded at a veterinary-owned facility. After that incident, we decided to try traveling with them. We found they weren’t nearly as stressed as they were when boarding. And, if you have pets with medical needs, you know those needs are being handled correctly.