It’s not where you’re going but who you’re traveling with that really matters. Whether they’re friends, family or your pets, companions on the road can make all the difference. If you’re considering traveling with your pet but unsure if you can take the leap, let these questions, answered by our guest blogger Ramona Creel, help you as a guide.
What are the pros and cons of traveling with pets?
Well I love animals, so I don't personally see any cons. To me, they're part of the family, so why not travel with them? My two feline furbabies love our road trips. My girls sit in the front seat with us watching the world go by. They meet new people when we go through toll booths or stop for gas, and they enjoy a new world of birds, squirrels and smells at each stop. This, of course, takes place away from the safety of their enclosed outdoor tent. We can’t let local wildlife mistake them for dinner! Does it take more work than traveling without animals? Of course. Are they worth it? Absolutely.
How do you make travel easier with pets?
You're going to get tired of hearing me say ‘plan ahead,’ but it's true. It’s critical that you have all the relevant supplies on hand before you leave home. Know the lay of the land at your destination, and be prepared. Figure out where to find a vet, which trails allow dogs, leash laws in different areas and pet rules at your RV park. Make sure to give your four-legged friends a set spot to call their own in both your tow vehicle and rig. Travel days can be tricky so make sure to acclimate your pet to the car, schedule your route so there are pit stops along the way and know exactly how long your critters can tolerate being in the car before they drive you crazy. These all help create a more pleasant cross-species RVing experience throughout your travels.
What is your #1 best tip for traveling with pets?
Before you even leave the driveway, figure out whether or not your particular animal is suited to the mobile lifestyle. While travel makes some animals very happy, it stresses others out. In the same way that you must ensure your human partner is satisfied moving from place to place in a way-smaller-than-normal space, you need to test this mode of transport out on your pets before subjecting them to something that doesn't agree with their temperament. Do they freak out and potty all over the seats each time you put them in the car? Do they get motion sickness? Do they try and dart out the door at every rest stop? Do they have special needs or medical complications that could be problematic on the road? Some animals are not ready for travel. You can slowly try to get the animal used to it, but never force travel on a pet who doesn't respond well to it naturally.
What are the best supplies to have on hand?
Of course, the best supplies depend on the animal, but you do need to cover a few important bases. There are a variety of sleeping arrangements to consider, such as beds, blankets and possibly carriers for in the car. Plan meals and consider automated feeders and waterers to make travel easier. Find the easiest way to deal with elimination, whether that be a litter box or a scooper. Also, when you’re on the road make sure you have complete medical records for the vet. Finally, don’t forget to bring both indoor and outdoor toys. We love our collapsible kitty tent!
How do you find vets and other services on the road?
I'm a big fan of referrals. As with RV parks, company-sponsored service descriptions can be misleading. It's better if you can talk to someone who's been there and has good things to say. There are a huge number of resource-driven sites out there that will guide you toward good quality providers -- the pet people at Pet Travel are happy to help you out.
Whether you choose to travel with pets or not, know that both options can cater to your flexible schedule and adventurous spirit. Friends, family, companions and pets can bring joy to our travels and wonderful company while on the road. Some of the best memories are shared moments, so keep soaking them in and living a riveted life!
By Ramona Creel