By Robin Hawn, Senior Brand Manager at PetSafe
The holiday season is upon us and, for many, this means traveling to visit friends and family. My dog Buckley is frequently my travel companion whenever I’m on the road. She would much rather experience an adventure than stay home. We’ve developed a simple routine to ensure our gallivanting is easy going.
Have a “Pug” Shot
We all hope it will never happen but, especially when you travel, there is a chance you and your dog could get separated. Be prepared by having a current and clear photo of your pet and be sure your pet’s identification is current. Weather you use a tag or microchip; make sure your contact information is up to date.
Bull dogs can’t fly
Buckley wasn’t just born without wings. Most airlines will not allow brachycephalic breeds to fly and they are more vulnerable to changes in air quality and temperature in the cargo hold of a plane. In fact, it is a best practice never to fly with your dog unless they can ride in the main cabin with you. If your dog is too large to fit under your seat and it isn’t feasible to drive to your destination, consider using a pet-only airline such as Pet Airways.
Are we there yet?
You’ll both need potty and snack breaks while you’re going from point A to point B. It’s best to plan your route and breaks before you hit the road. Depending on your dog, you’ll likely need to plan a break every 3-5 hours. Avoid multiple stops by coordinate locations with areas that offer a bit of green space for your pet and fuel and food for you.
Best Friend Budget
Hotels and rental car companies may allow pets, but they may also charge fees for providing this level of hospitability. These fees can quickly cause you to go over your travel budget. While you can look for travel options that don’t include these extra fees, it’s best to plan ahead and add 3-5% to your travel budget in advance, just in case. This will account for the additional fees and keep your pooch from breaking the bank.
Go Fido-Friendly or Go Home
Pet-friendly hotel, restaurants, and venues should do more than just allow pets – they should welcome them. Places that are enthusiastic about hosting pets can mean added conveniences such as having a potty spots in the hotel garden rather than having to leave the hotel and a walk few blocks, offering food and water bowls (one less thing for you to pack) and catering to four-legged guests with a doggie treat turn-down service. Taking the extra step to seek out pet-centric places will ensure you both are more comfortable throughout your trip.
As in life, traveling with my dog forces me to stop and smell the roses (while she sniffs out a place to potty). I find that most activities are better with her around. I see more of the area I’m visiting, and I usually meet fellow pet-lovers.
If I am regularly accustom to having my dog with me, it becomes second nature for me to plan to care for her wherever I’m going. This ensures that traveling with pets isn’t an inconvenience, it’s just part of the fun. What about you? What have you learned about traveling with your pets?
Robin Hawn is the Senior Brand Manager of the PetSafe Family of Brands for Radio Systems Corporation, head quartered in Knoxville, TN. She works to build a brand of products designed to give consumer more of the best moments they can possibly have with their pets. She has a MBA with a Marketing Emphasis, a B.A in English, and 10 years experience developing and launching marketing plans, brand strategy and PR campaigns across a variety of diverse industries. Her French bulldog Buckley typically logs the same hours at the office as Robin. She volunteers with the Most Pet Friendly Community initiative that has a mission of making Knoxville, TN the most pet friendly community in America.