Traveling With Your Pets This Holiday Season

November 12, 2021

The holiday season is right around the corner; you can feel it in the air. Walking into Target, seeing all the Halloween decorations and costumes may not excite you about Halloween. Still, it can signal to you that, yes, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year are right around the corner. And who is not ready for a new year after the last two? Chances are, as things return to a more normal pace, you are traveling for the holidays this year. It may be the first time you have traveled for Thanksgiving or Christmas in the last two years, so you may need a quick refresher on how to make it comfortable for not only you but your beloved furry companion who will be accompanying you. 

Prepare Your Pets

You may have already had to research some tips on preparing your pets for you returning to the office. After all, they have had you all to themselves this entire time you have been working from home. Hopefully, that transition to you returning to the office went smoothly. Well, you owe them the same preparation when it comes to travel. If you are taking a road trip to your holiday destinations, it is worth it to get your sweet fur-baby prepared for spending that amount of time in the car. While it is unrealistic for you to start taking sixty-mile drives with your dog every day, you should consider taking them with you. At the same time, you run errands or go on short day trips — a lot of animals really get anxious in the car, so helping them get accustomed to spending time in a moving vehicle will only serve you both well. 

Prepare Yourself

First of all, if you are flying during the holidays you know it can be a stressful experience. If you have not flown the friendly skies in the last two years, just a heads up, it s a bit of a different experience nowadays and takes a little bit more time to get from A to B in an airport than it used to. So, it is worth taking some supplements like magnesium or CBD oil to keep you calm. Additionally, if your pet is small enough to be allowed to fly on the plane with you, investing in some CBD chews for them is a great idea too!

Ensure you have all your essentials for traveling alone or with your fur-baby packed in your carryall the day before your trip so you do not forget anything that either of you will need. For yourself, it would be tickets, identification, passport. It will look the same for your pet but also include proof of their current up-to-date vaccinations and more. So make sure you double-check with the airline what you need for the two of you.

If You Have To Board

Maybe you have the type of pet that cannot be taken on the trip with you. While, of course, you will miss them tremendously, you want to make sure that they are in the safest hands possible while you are gone. So, research reputable boarding for cats and dogs — if you are struggling, ask friends and family with pets to whom they take their animals when it is time to board. 

It is also worth it to think about paying someone you trust a lot to stay in your home with your animals while you are gone. That way, they get to stay in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of their home while they are waiting so patiently for you to return to them. If you go this route, it is best to go with someone you know, not someone off the internet. You need to know your pet is getting the best possible care, but additionally the attention, kisses, and cuddles they are used to getting from you. 

Pandemic Pets

Many people adopted pets during the pandemic, and these “pandemic puppies” are highly attached to us and may exhibit nervous behavior or have separation anxiety issues. If you have a pandemic puppy or pet of any kind, do your best to have them accompany you on your trip or leave them with a trusted friend or relative only. It may seem like it’s something silly, but vets, groomers, and trainers are all reporting the same thing — that pets adopted during the pandemic experience these issues more than rescues and adoptions before then. 

Embrace the travel, do not let it overwhelm you. But, as pet owners, we want the best for our animals — they are part of the family too! So, make sure you are traveling with your pets safely and responsibly this holiday season or leaving them in excellent, loving hands. Happy Trails!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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