Cute dog on the beach.

Do you dream of relaxing on a sandy beach with your dog? Or perhaps you’d love to bring your cat along on a family road trip in the RV. You might be wondering, “Can I vacation with my pet?” 

The answer isn’t straightforward. Bayside Animal Hospital has several considerations for you to think about before you hit the road. 

When You Shouldn’t Travel With Your Pet

If your dog or cat struggles with anxiety, travel might not be the best idea. This doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation, of course. It just means you’ll need to hire a house sitter or board your pet at a kennel while you travel. 

Pets with medical conditions should stay home, too. We recommend finding a trusted caregiver who can bring your companion to the vet if needed. 

What’s the Best Way of Traveling With My Dog? 

Riding in a secure, crash-tested harness or crate in your car is the best way for you and your pet to hit the road. Most rental car companies allow pets, too—as long as they ride in a crate.

Other modes of transportation aren’t so ideal for our furry friends. Small pets can fly in the main cabin of an airplane. But any pet too large to fit under your seat must ride in the cargo hold. 

Many dogs and cats fly in the cargo hold of an airplane without complications. However, pets get sick, lost, or even killed when riding with luggage every year. Animals with “squashed” (brachycephalic) snouts—boxers, Persian cats, and pugs, for example—should never ride in a cargo hold. These pets can experience difficulty breathing when they’re anxious, overexcited, or overheated. In a cargo hold, there’s no one to monitor their health. 

Trains and cruise ships are safer for pets than the cargo hold of a plane. However, most allow pets only under strict conditions. 

When you’re planning a vacation with your pet, take a look at all the modes of transportation you’ll need to take when you travel. Make sure your pet can safely come along before you set your plans in stone. 

When You Should Consider Travelling With Your Pet

If your dog or cat is healthy and loves to travel, go ahead and shout to the world, “I’m going on vacation with my pet!” and get ready for some serious bonding time with your furry friend. 

Hop on to Google to search for pet-friendly travel locations. Do you and your pup love to hike together? Explore Vermont’s Dog Mountain for 150 acres of unspoiled mountain beauty that’s 100% open to pups and their parents. Or hit the trails in Bend, Oregon, and stop by a local brewery on the way home with Fido by your side. 

Beach-loving pets and humans can check out Charleston, South Carolina, which boasts several dog-friendly restaurants, beaches, and indoor pools. If you want to travel beyond the United States, try Tokyo or Vancouver—two of the dog-friendliest cities in the world. 

Make reservations at pet-friendly hotels ahead of time, as most only offer a handful of rooms where pets are allowed. 

Before You Go

We recommend bringing your dog or cat in for a wellness check before you leave. Our team can make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and provide you with a copy of shot records. If your pet will be flying, we’ll need to clear him or her for air travel and provide you with a health certificate. 

Your dog or cat should have a leash, collar, identification tag, and rabies tag before you go. Get your pet a microchip if they don’t have one already. Make sure you designate a secure place to carry your pet’s health certificate and vaccination records with you.

And bring your camera, too—you’re about to embark on an unforgettable vacation with your pet!

If you have any questions about how to travel successfully with your dog or cat, give us a call at (916) 791-8387. We’re here to help support your adventures!