The do’s and don’ts of traveling with a pet


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Traveling — especially during the holidays — can be a pain, but we bet you’ve got the moves down pat at this point. That is, assuming you’re only traveling on two legs. But if you’re a pet owner, you know that adding another four legs to the equation can present its own special set of problems.

So if you’re planning on bringing your furry friend on vacay with you, make sure you follow these do's and don’ts, courtesy of the the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

1. DO prepare your pet for a long car ride by taking him or her on a number of shorter drives first. Gradually lengthen the time of each mini trip.

2. DON’T feed your pet in a moving vehicle. Instead, give him or her a light meal three to four hours before leaving.

3. DO make sure the crate is well-ventilated and secure in your car.

4. DON’T leave your pet alone in a parked car. If it’s hot outside, rising temperatures in the car can cause heatstroke, and cold temperatures can turn the car into a refrigerator.

5. DO bring food, water, bowls, a leash, toy, waste scoop and plastic bags, grooming supplies, a first-aid kit, medication and vaccination records.

6. DON’T forget your pet’s collar and ID tag. Put your contact info and destination on the collar.

7. DO protect your pet from holiday hazards once you get to your destination. This includes tree water, tinsel and chocolate.

8. DON’T bring your pet on a plane if you can help it, especially if you plan on checking them in as cargo. If your animal can fit under your seat and you can bring him or her in the cabin, go for it. But if you must put your pet in the cargo hold, write "Live Animal" on the crate and draw arrows to indicate the upright position. Attach a current photo to the crate in case he or she escapes.

Now that you’re well-versed in getting your pet to your destination safety, you need to make sure that your accommodations are pet-friendly. And we have just the place for you to do that.

Meet Takeyourpet.com, which offers a directory of more than 40,000 pet-friendly bed and breakfasts, cabins, hotels, vacation rentals and resorts.

Some other features include:

  • Discounts to members on lodging and car rentals, whether or not they bring their pet. In addition, a number of pet websites, including PetSmart and Petco, offer discount pricing for Takeyourpet.com site visitors;
  • Information on flying with your pet on major airlines, along with contact numbers for each airline;
  • A list of emergency veterinary hospitals across the country;
  • Articles on best practices for all stages of traveling with pets, including carsickness tips, reducing anxiety and nutrition and hydration advice; and
  • A free digital newsletter, with pet travel tips and discounts on products, services and pet-friendly accommodations.