How to Plan the Best Summer Vacation For Your Pet (and You)!

Jake in his favorite mode of transportation, a 1980 Turbo Scout II!

If you haven’t already started making plans for summer travel, it’s time to start! Whether you’re planning a “staycation” at a local beach or dusting off your passport for an international flight, it’s never too early to start making plans for your pets.

With or without Fido?

When trying to decide whether or not to take your pet with you on vacation, the two main considerations will be cost and hassle. If you’re flying overseas, quarantine requirements usually make bringing your pet along a no-go. Even Hawaii requires animals to be quarantined a minimum of five days.

If your plans involve air travel, keep in mind the cost of transporting a pet. United has now adopted Continental’s PetSafe program, which most experts consider a worthwhile service. However, the costs are now significantly higher for animals not traveling in the cabin. Be sure to compare costs before choosing an airline for your and your pet’s trip.

Pet-friendly vacations

If you’re bringing your pet with you, there are some great resources available online for you and your pup! DogJaunt is a comprehensive blog dedicated to bringing your small dog with you – starring the writer’s own Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:

photo courtesy DogJaunt

Other helpful pet travel resources include:

When you’re out and about, you can use this Dog Park Finder app if you have a smartphone to find convenient, close-by places for your dog to do his business.

Kennels vs. pet sitters

If you’ve done the math and figured out that bringing your pet with you on vacation is just too expensive or complicated, you should start making plans for where your pet will stay in your absence.

Cats and other small pets usually aren’t good candidates for boarding. Dogs who are immune compromised, not especially social with other dogs, or prone to separation anxiety usually don’t thrive in kennels.

If your pup would rather stay at home, or even sleep over with a friend, what’s the best way to pick someone to help? Yelp reviews are written by strangers, and notoriously unreliable. The best way to find your pet’s home away from home, or someone who will care for your furry friend as well as you do, is to ask a friend to pet sit.

Once you’ve found someone you can trust to pet sit, make sure they know all your pet’s likes, dislikes, medications, and what do to in the event your dog or cat gets sick. A comprehensive pet care checklist that you can share online or on paper can make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Don’t forget the meet-and-greet before you leave – this will help your pet feel more comfortable with their caretaker while you’re gone.

Good luck, and we hope your summer is as great as this guy’s!

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