Snoqualmie Pets 101: Traveling with your Pet

In her latest post, guest columnist and pet trainer, Melissa Grant, at Le Chic Pet in Issaquah talks traveling with your pet – by air or car – with some great tips for your big adventure.

Summer vacation isn’t just for two-legged travelers. Nowadays, with pet room service and concierge service for your pet, Fido and Fluffy can go just about anywhere you do. Here are a few tips to make your summer travels fun for the whole family.

First off, make sure your pet is healthy enough for travel and updated on all vaccinations. A vet checkdog-air-travel-pet-care-tips is imperative before going on an extended trip. It a good idea to bring your pet’s food and some of the water (bottled) that he’s used to drinking. Of course, don’t forget to pack Fido’s medication if he’s on any.

Next, make sure tags are up to date with your current contact numbers. Microchips should be scanned and on file with your current vet and address. It’s a good idea to make sure you have a current picture of your pet with you on your travels in case you need to tell someone what he or she looks like.

One of the obstacles to pet travel is getting there. Personally, I don’t plan on flying my dog anywhere because of her personality. She’s quite spooky when it comes to new situations and I’m afraid flying would be unpleasant for her. However, if you have a dog or cat with a good sound temperament for new situations go for it with caution with these tips in mind.

Air Travel

Make sure you check with the airline and have the right carrier. If you carry your pet on the flight it must fit under the seat in front of you. Not airlines have the same dimensions, so be sure you have the right sized carrier. If you plan on having your pet ride in the cargo area, the sane rule applies. Make sure it meets al requirements for size and locking ability

  • Book early! Many airlines have a limit as to how many pets around in the cabin and in the cargo area.
  • Prepare your pet for the flight. Exercise your pet intensely before their long confinement. Feed them lightly if they tend towards car sickness and make sure they’ve eliminated as close as possible to their flight time. I generally don’t like to sedate my pet because I think it makes her unable to react to fear normally but talk to your vet about what’s right for your animal.
  • If this doesn’t seem like something right for your pet give him a vacation of his very own. Dog Works Ranch in Woodinville has a spectacular facility for those pooches unsuitable for flight. They can be reached at www

Car Travel

If you plan to travel by car, again, a crate is a great way to go. Make sure the crate is large enough for your animal to stand up, turn around and lie down. Be sure the model you get has sufficient air circulation, with a comfy pad and stocked with a favorite toy. If your dog isn’t crate trained, a seatbelt may be a better way to keep him safe on a long drive. You can pick those up at Le Chic Pet.

Other tips for car rides:

  • Acclimate your pet to car rides before expecting hours of travel
  • Long trips are best done on an empty stomach
  • Keep the car well ventilated
  • Stop frequently for potty breaks
  • Do not let your pet ride with his head out the window, loose in the car or on anyone’s lap

Lastly, where to stay? Many hotels now allow pets. You’ll have to check around to find those who are pet friendly. Be sure to ask about breed or size restrictions before you show up. Be sure to keep your dog or cat quiet and be respectful of other guests.

Do not leave your pet unattended in the room. Many dogs will bark or be destructive if left in a strange place. Ask the management of the hotel where they would like you to walk your dog. Be sure and pick up your messes.

Taking your pet with you on vacation can be a fun experience, with a little extra time and planning. Following these tips will make it an enjoyable experience for all.

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