Summer is almost here and the only thing better than a nice family vacation is a vacation with your pet! Of course, adding a four-legged friend to the trip causes complications with a normal trip, and it’s important to consider how to keep your pet safe and comfortable during travel. We’ve put together a complete guide to traveling with your pet!

First things first – how are you going to get there?

  • Car

When traveling by car you may want to locate the rest stops along the way which have pet exercise areas to let you pet stretch their legs, before traveling on.

  • Airline

If traveling by Air it is always best to contact your airline to ask about their pet policies.  They all have same basic requirements and some that are unique to the company airline.  In the summer, the temperature can make a big difference determining on where your pet’s accommodations on the flight.

Will you need a hotel?

Traveling across country this USA Today story includes some of the national hotel chains and their accommodations for our pets.

LINK: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/hotels/2014/09/03/pet-dog-friendly-hotel/14972079/

I have included a site with local pet-friendly rooms in case family or friends are coming here to beautiful Dubuque, Iowa to visit.

LINK: https://www.travelocity.com/Dubuque-Hotels-Pet-Friendly-Hotel.0-0-d985-tPetfriendlyHotel.Travel-Guide-Filter-Hotels?semcid=travelocity-us.ub.google.dsa.hotel&kword=b.|dsa|.4c262557-4555-4a91-a85f-c471f226ec5c.166253081507p417

Does your travel plan include any National Parks?

LINK: https://www.nationalparks.org/connect/blog/don%E2%80%99t-leave-fido-home-explore-these-7-dog-friendly-national-parks

Before going to any park or recreational area do your homework first.  You don’t have to leave your best friend home, just be sure to choose a park where both of you can explore together.

Thinking of taking your pet to either our North or Southern borders?

This site will tell you what your pet needs to get in and out of either country.  The rules are not always the same for getting into the country and then returning home.  Not every country has the same rules and restrictions, so do your homework ahead of time.

LINK: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/by-country/pettravel-canada

These are some tips on how to pack your best friend’s suitcase.  Be sure to include the following:

  • Bring your pet’s own food and add a little extra.
  • Bottle water for drinking.
  • Medication –include heartworm and flea and tick preventative.
  • Health records and make sure they include vaccination information.
  • ID, may it be a tag or microchip.  For either forms of ID make sure the information is current.
  • Health Certificate if needed, depending upon where you are going.
  • A current photo.
  • Poop bags.
  • Wipe for a quick clean up and perhaps waterless shampoo for the night on the town.

I hope this information inspires you to include your pet on your next family vacation.  If you do your homework ahead of time, and planning your trip with your best friend is going to be great!  You may even see sites that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t have your 4 legged friend along.

I would love to hear about your summer vacations that you spent with your best 4 legged friends!

Have a great summer!

Sue and the staff