Over the River: Traveling with Your Pets for the Holidays

Are you preparing to load up your sleigh…er…car and hit the road for the holidays? If so, you’re not alone. AAA estimates that approximately 98.6 million people will travel 50+ miles from home during the end-of-the-year holiday season. We don’t know how many of those are taking along their dogs, but we’re betting it’s a pretty high number. If you’re one of the ones planning to pack up the pooch to visit Grandma or Uncle Bob, here are a few quick tips to keep your travels merry.

Know Before You Go

Luckily for the pet-loving jet set, more and more hotels are welcoming four-legged guests. But it’s always a good idea to call ahead just to be on the safe side. Ask about their pet policies and any associated fees. Some have restrictions on the size or number of dogs they accept. Others may accept any pet but charge a hefty non-refundable cleaning fee in return. Avoid surprises by doing your homework beforehand.

Stay on Schedule

Even the most well-adjusted dog can become stressed by long hours in the car, unfamiliar places and strange people. Dogs are creatures of habit so try to keep their routine as close to normal as possible. Adhering to normal feeding and walking times will go a long way toward putting your pup at ease.

The Comforts of Home

When you’re packing for yourself, make sure you pack for Fido, too! Being surrounded by familiar smells and items will help reduce his worry. Bring along his favorite blankets, a few toys and, of course, his regular food and Full Moon treats. If he normally sleeps in a crate, think about buying or borrowing a collapsible one for the trip. For dogs with delicate constitutions, it’s also a good idea to bring along a jug of water from home to avoid potential stomach upset.

ID, Please

Having a dog escape or run away is every pup parent’s worst nightmare. Even worse is when it happens while you’re far from home. We hope this never happens to you, but it’s best to be prepared just in case. Your dog’s tag should include the number of the phone you’re traveling with. If he or she is microchipped, make sure that the information on file is current. Finally, have a good picture handy in case you need to distribute flyers.

Whether you’re traveling across country or staying close to home, all of us here at Full Moon wish you and yours a safe and joyous “howliday” season!