Written By: Arslan Hassan

Going for a family vacation? Don’t forget your four-legged companion. Canines and felines are as much part of your family as other people and need a holiday, too.

But not all pets are accustomed to traveling. While some pets are born world travelers and become great travel buddies, others are ready to run off the bridge any minute they get the chance.

Hence, to keep the trip safe and fun for everyone, we assembled a guide to ensure a fun-packed journey.

Things to do before:

Now that you’re done with your packing, location decided, and hotel booked: the next thing to do is give 100% attention to your pet. Buy an ID card for their collar with your name and phone number written on it; adding the hotel name and their phone number is a bonus.

It’s better if your pet is microchipped. Make sure the details in the microchip are updated and right. Secondly, take your pet’s vaccination card and health certificates with you. In case of an emergency, these will be helpful for other vets to treat your pet.

Pack extra food in case of a change in plans or an emergency. Try not to feed your pets to the fullest before traveling; it can make them nauseous. Lastly, get a crate for your pet. Cats tend to squeeze themselves when nervous, and dogs can be too hard to handle if they’re anxious while traveling.

For cats or dogs, anxiety while traveling can lead to some troubles. Therefore, carry them in a carrier. Assure that the carrier size is suitable to sit and stand in. Get the crate at home to familiarize them with it.

If your dog is large in size, switch to a crate. Crates are more sturdily built and ideal for dogs weighing between 70 and 90 lbs. There’s much more to learn about a dog and how to handle them. Thankfully, you can find answers to all your concerns on We Love Doodles.

Although many pets are not cut for traveling due to their temperament, illness, or other issues. We recommend you visit your vet to know if your pet is alright with traveling.

Air Travels:

Air travel can be a lot of work for pets, either in the cargo or in the cabin. Following these tips can help your pets ease a little.

  • Check if your airline allows pet travel, their charges and if they allow pets in a cabin or cargo.
  • Correspond with the airline’s pet travel policies. Each airline has its own policies and requires some documents before booking.
  • Make sure your crate is airline approved.
  • Play with your cat or dog before the flight. So, your pet sleeps throughout the flight.
  • Check-in late for the flying. You don’t want your pet to wait for hours in the crate.
  • You can add some pine shaving or newspaper to the crate. In case of any incident, it will be absorbed.
  • Bring your cat’s litter box with you. Cats can smell if it’s theirs or not.
  • Carry some no-noise toys. It will help them without annoying other people.
  • Book a direct flight if possible.
  • Stay relax. Your pet can sense the tension in you and get anxious. You can frequently pass these buddies treats, too.

Most importantly, check in with their vet for any other necessary medications and if they’ll be okay in higher altitudes.

Road Rides:

Road trips are easier to handle than planes. You can go miles according to your pet’s tolerance level. Take breaks and keep the journey fun for them.

  • Take trial trips. Let your dog sit in the car for hours or go for small rides. The same goes for the cat; let them understand that car rides are safe.
  • We know how cinematic it looks, a dog sticking their head out of the car. Well, it’s dangerous. Any unexpected obstacle or sudden breaks can cause serious injury. And dust alone can cause allergies.
  • An advantage of car rides is frequent breaks. Take a break every 4 hours (at least) for restrooms, food, and stretching.
  • Always keep cold water on hand. The last thing you want on a road trip is a dehydrated companion.
  • Never leave your pet inside the car. It gets deadly warm inside the car real quick.
  • If your pet is in a crate, leave a crack in the window for ventilation.
  • Is a crate not an option for your big canine? Go for a car belt.
  • While sunscreen is a go-to product for us: the sun can be dangerous for pets, too. A window blind can do the work for you!
  • Just like human babies, puppies are unsafe for a front seat. If worse comes to worst, the pressure of airbags is harmful to them. Backseats are far safer.
  • Let us not forget the most important thing. Keep an eye on your cat; these tiny paws dart at the first possibility.
  • Listening to you sing the whole trip is punishing enough. Avoid loud music as it damages the pet’s sensitive ears and increases anxiety.
  • Ideally, feed your pets four hours before leaving or a small meal an hour before. Dogs are more likely to have an upset stomach.

Some pets are too scared of traveling, and we suggest you leave them at home with a caretaker or a friend. However, if it is necessary, a prescribed anti-anxiety can save the day.

Train Trips:

Although train trips are uncommon due to their weight and size limits, they are similar to car rides.

  • Check with train policies and if your pet is allowed.
  • Make your pet familiar with crates as with car rides. Pick up the carrier and roam around the house as practice.
  • Cooperate with the staff where you can stop to relieve your pet. Regardless, there are cases where there is no possible stop.

Knowing the rules is as important for pets as for you. As well as; visiting the train station beforehand, the noise there can be terrifying for your pet. See if they get habituated easily.


Before we wrap this up, here are a few more suggestions; keep a blankie or a beloved toy with your pet, ask your vet how to assess if your pet is getting anxious, and of course, be patient.

Trips can be frightening for pets; try to be patient and considerate of your pet. You can get a thunder shirt to calm your pet’s anxiety. Now that you’ve finally reached your destination: look for pet-friendly places to visit and restaurants to eat at.

Book a hotel that has good pet policies. If some sites are too crowded for a pet or not open for them, search for nearby dog or cat sitters. We tried to make a super easy and helpful guide for you. Use this as a checklist and be 100% ready for your vacation.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

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