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Pet Hotel Travel Tips

Welcome to the pet care section of Diana L. Guerrero's Ark Animals. Traveling with your pets can be safe or your worst nightmare. Do you know what steps you can take to insure pet travel safety? Learn the petiquette for hotels. Get innovative solutions and learn hotel and travel safety pet care tips compliments of our California critter columnist, Diana L. GuerreroFeel free to visit the media room for press releases, recent media coverage, and related items.

Pet Hotel Travel Tips

Traveling with pets can be pleasurable and hassle free with a little preparation. Day trips, weekend excursions and family vacations can include pets if you know proper petiquette for hotels and know where to locate pet friendly stops. Get innovative hints and travel safety pet care tips courtesy of our California Critter Columnist.

In the past pets have stayed home while the human members of the family traveled. Traditionally, household critters have been taken care of by other family members, friends, neighbors or pet care professionals during family outings. Today, the trend has changed and companion animals more commonly accompany their human family members on day trips, longer weekend excursions and family getaways. To make your trip a pleasurable one, you should prepare. Here are a few handy hints to make pet travel hassle free.

First, make sure your animal is comfortable with trips in the automobile. Many pets associate traveling in vehicles with negative excursions. This is because most pets only travel in the car to visit the veterinarian for shots or other aversive experiences.

You can habituate pets to car travel by allowing them to sit in a parked car with you for short periods of time. Next, take short spins around the neighborhood, to visit friends or parks and other fun outings.

Make sure you provide safety belts or secured travel crates for safe transportation for you and your pets. This will keep the pets secured and reduce injuries in the event of an accident and prevent steering interference during your equipment operation.

When you pack, be sure to assemble a pet travel kit that includes:

  • a pet bed
  • towels (to clean up dirty paws, drool)
  • sheets or blankets (to cover any furniture the pet may sleep on)
  • important papers (health certificate, proof of vaccination)
  • chew items
  • travel toys
  • treats
  • extra collar with travel tags
  • leash and tie-out
  • crate
  • toileting aids (litter box, clean up bags, scoop, pet clean up)
  • food and water bowls
  • bag of regular food (some locations might not carry your brand)

Depending on your destination, you will want to make sure your animals are in good health. Visits across borders usually mean you will need to carry a health certificate and other documents. Check with your travel agent or the country you intend to visit for the details but always at least have your pet's vet records with you.

Pet passengers should always have a current identification tag as well as one specifically for travel. Your emergency contact person should have your itinerary on hand in case you are separated from your pets on a trip. Temporary travel tags on the collar should have your cell phone number with area code and your designated contact person's name and number.

If you are visiting relatives or friends, make sure that they are not allergic to pets and ask permission to bring your critter. If allergies, problems with other pets or additional concerns come up, be sure to have a list of pet friendly locations nearby.

You can locate many pet friendly hotels, restaurants and related businesses via a search by city, state plus the term, "pet friendly hotels" or similar terms. There are also numerous other sources available.

For instance, most towns have a chamber of commerce that is willing to help. Private animal facilities often can steer you in the right direction, and some towns actually publish pet friendly guides for travelers. The American Automobile Association's (AAA) newer guidebooks include a "Pets Welcome" section or keep your eyes out for symbols indicating the facility is pet friendly.

To meet the demands of the over sixty percent of Americans owning pets, many business now accommodate critters. A pet friendly hotel will allow your animals to stay with you in your room. Some have an additional housekeeping charge (per animal) for each night of your stay. Don't squawk over the fees because they cover the extra labor for cleaning up pet hair and dander.

Even with preparation, make sure to call ahead and confirm that the hotel has not changed hotel policies or management. Be sure to inquire to see what restrictions or additional information the hotel has for pets. For instance, some limit the size and weight of canine visitors and your Great Dane might be more dog than they want to handle!

Remember to also ask for a ground floor room. This way you can avoid elevators and other navigational challenges. A ground floor location will also make it easier for you to bring pets in and out, and to get them out for a walk or toileting trip.

During travel, always keep your pet on a leash in public areas. This is important to those people who do not like pets and to people who are allergic or scared to death of pets. It is important to keep your pet safe. In addition, it will keep your pet secure from encounters with other animals that might not be friendly.

If you stay in a hotel, there are some petiquette rules you should be aware of. These are common courtesy rules you should know. When traveling make sure that you:

1. Don't leave your animal unattended in your room.
This simple step makes sure that you will not get an early eviction due to noise problems. Your pet won't be at risk of escape when housekeeping arrives and you will also avoid any damages or startled staff members.

2. Don't let your pet swim in the pool.
Most facilities won't appreciate pets in the pool. You also don't want to expose your pets to pool chemicals and other hazards.

3. Use an appropriate toileting area and always scoop your pet's poop!
Ask where an appropriate toileting area is when you check in. Avoid allowing your pet use of flowerbeds or manicured lawn.

These pet travel safety hints are just guidelines. Feel free to add your own ideas and look for my additional articles on pet travel while you are on this site!

About the columnist: Since 1978 Diana L. Guerrero has worked professionally with both wild and domestic animals. Guerrero has been affiliated with, and certified by, a variety of animal programs in the USA and Europe. Based in California, she writes, consults, and speaks. Information on her animal career programs, training courses, and her books {What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality (SkyLight Paths, 2003), Blessing of the Animals (Sterling, 2007), Help! My Pet is Driving Me Crazy (Guerrero Ink, 2007), Animal Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners & Pet Professionals (Guerrero Ink, 2007)} can be found in this web site and in the shop. Questions for Guerrero should be submitted via the blog comments or membership forum.


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