Ready or not, the holidays are approaching. Now is the perfect time to schedule your trips, book your tickets and make plans for your pup. Here are some things to consider before heading out the door:
Should she stay or should she go?
Read our checklist to help you decide if it's best to bring her along for the trip, or leave her at home.
Not going too far? Trains are a great way to beat the traffic. Amtrak's pet policy allows up to five pet passengers aboard each train. You must purchase a pet fare of $26 and store your dog under your seat in a leak-proof carrier. Pets are not allowed on journeys longer than seven hours and must weigh less than 20 pounds. On the day of travel, let your dog do their business beforehand, and provide them with water during the journey if it's more than an hour or two.
If you're hitting the roads with your pets, traveling by car is the best bet since it gives you the opportunity to schedule breaks for your dog and your family along the way. If your dog is prone to motion sickness, you can withhold food from them before you embark, but do provide water during the trip, in a spill-proof water bowl or when you stop at rest areas.
Keep in mind your dog may be anxious at highway rest areas, so keep them on the leash at all times, and observe any rules about where your dog is permitted at the stop. Back in the car, make sure you have the necessary supplies to keep your dog entertained, safe, and comfortable for the ride.
When traveling by plane, do your research. Pets need to be vaccinated, must have documentation, and pay their own fare. Consult airline policy as to whether your dog breed is permitted and where they are allowed to stay on the plane. Also, if you're heading out of the country, check out our article on International Flying with a Dog.
If you're staying overnight at a hotel, make sure you are booking a dog-friendly establishment. While some hotels have fees for bringing a pet, chances are you can find a place where your pup can stay for free. If you want your pup to feel truly pampered, Kimpton Hotels offers food, beds, and other amenities for canine guests. Other hotels that typically welcome pets but may require a fee or deposit include Best Western, Comfort Suites, Westin, Sheraton, Fairmont, and Loews Hotels. Call ahead to learn the specific location's policies and to confirm that they can accommodate your pet.
At Your Destination
However you get there, be prepared for conditions at your destination. If you're traveling to a colder climate, so make sure your pet is equipped for winter weather. Have fun, but keep your dog's welfare in mind in the midst of festivities. Make sure they have a quiet place to retreat to and keep harmful human foods away from your pup.
In the case that you are not traveling and are planning to celebrate the holidays at home, make sure to read more of our tips and trick in our article, The Do's and Don'ts for Happy Howlidays.