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Road Tripping With Pets

Everybody loves a road trip don’t they? Well, some pets do and some pets don’t. Traveling with a dog can be fun while fluffy the cat may make things unpleasant for everyone. There are ways to make it more comfortable for everyone involved, and just like traveling with your kids, you just have to plan ahead.

Nobody Likes an Upset Tummy
Just like our Dads hated stopping every time we had to go to the bathroom, you’re not going to want to constantly pull over either. Problem is Fluffy or Fido aren’t really able to communicate when their tummy is upset. Keep the meals light and try to feed your pet 2 to 3 hours before traveling. Ice cubes are better than trying to provide bowls of water and can help keep them hydrated without a mess.

Let Me See Some I.D.

You should always have a name tag on your pet, but it is especially important when traveling. An extra identification tag with your cell contact, any destination info like the address or phone number of where you’re going, or info on a relative or friend who can contact you is very important. Animals jump out of windows, car doors, or motel rooms without warning; heck, even I’ve been known to do that when stressed enough. Make sure your pet can be returned if he or she runs off.

Pet-Friendly Hotels and Motels
There seems to be more and more, not just motels but hotels as well, that allow pets: some without even charging extra. There are websites that can help with your planning by searching for pet-friendly hotels like OfficialPetHotels.com and GoPetFriendly.com. Large chains and fancy boutique hotels are learning that it pays to cater to pets and their owners. Marriot opens up over 1200 of their hotels to pets, and well-known boutique hotels like Hotel Monaco in Denver, Colorado have long been pet-friendly. Mountain towns have always been more receptive to allowing pets as I have seen dogs in the Hyatt Regency in Avon, Colorado and dogs in several bars and clubs in Vail. Heck, most of them are much better-behaved than the human customers.

Everybody Needs Their Space
Travel carriers are not a bad idea in some circumstances. While we always use one when taking the cat to the vet, it may seem confining for a long road trip. Actually, cats seem to relax and feel more secure when in a confined space. That and the fact that letting Fluffy roam free in the car invites her to park right under my brake pedal. That usually causes problems. For your pet’s safety as well as your own, you may want to keep them in a carrier. As long as it’s big enough for comfort, they may actually prefer it. It also allows you to feed or water them without a mess.

Warn Your Host
Believe it or not: not everyone is a dog lover. On top of that, some folks have pets that don’t care for others. If you are visiting friends it is imperative that you let them know who all is coming. After all, you would tell them if you were bringing your deadbeat brother-in-law wouldn’t you? Okay, that may be better left unsaid, but you really should be upfront with your hosts about your four-legged companions. Some folks have allergies or their home is not equipped for animals—or deadbeat brothers-in-laws for that matter. You may have to make other arrangements or shorten your stay, but things will go much smoother if everything is upfront.