Increasingly, people are opting to travel with their pets, especially their dogs. This is especially true as many places such as hotels are becoming more pet-friendly. Does that mean it’s a good idea, however?
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There are pros and cons to think about before you hit the road or the sky with your pet during your next trip.
Flying with a Pet
If you’re traveling by car, there aren’t as many logistical considerations to bringing along your pet as there are if you’re going by airplane.
You may love taking your pet with you everywhere you go, but air travel can pose some serious risks for animals.
When your animal travels by plane with you, and they’re in the cargo hold, there can be fluctuations in temperature and it can be noisy. There can be significant drops in air pressure as well, and this all creates serious stress for animals.
Flying can be very scary for animals, and they know something is happening, but they don’t know what.
Airlines do provide detailed information for people who want to travel with their pets, and they also outline the risks it can create for pets.
Many airlines have restrictions on pets as checked baggage, as well. For example, Delta doesn’t allow pets to travel as checked baggage from May 15 to September 15 in certain parts of the world when there may be extreme temperatures.
Almost all incidents involving pets being injured or killed on airplanes occurred when they were in the cargo area.
Certain types of pets, and in particular pugs, can face even more challenges, and many airlines won’t allow them to fly at all. Pugs are vulnerable to respiratory distress more so than other types of dogs.
What If You Are Going to Fly with Your Pet?
If you know the risks and choose to fly with your pet or don’t have an option, there are some things you can do to make it a safer experience. You can, for example, take your dog for a nice long walk and playtime before you board the plane.
Choosing the right crate is important, as well. For example, it should be IATA approved and large enough for your pet to not only sit but stand and turn around comfortably.
Before you travel, line the crate with absorbent bedding, and you can attach food to the crate so your pet can eat during a longer trip.
You may be able to arrange for in-cabin travel instead of cargo travel. Different airlines have different policies for this, so you should check before you book your tickets.
Some airports are going to be more accommodating for pets than others. As an example, there is a dog park at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, but other airports may not have anywhere for pets to relieve themselves or play.
Is Your Hotel Truly Pet-Friendly?
Traveling with pets has become more popular and as a result, more hotels are advertising themselves as being pet-friendly, but are they really?
Many hotels will officially allow pets, but they don’t necessarily cater to them.
Things to think about include whether or not the hotel has pet-friendly amenities if pets are allowed in public spaces, and how close things like the nearest pet park are to the hotel.
For example, some hotels will require that your pet be carried in public spaces and be in a cage if you’re not in the hotel room, and that’s not what many owners will consider pet-friendly.
Are You Ready to Cover the Extra Costs?
It’s going to be expensive to travel with your pet in the majority of situations – possibly much more expensive than the cost of boarding them.
Most airlines will charge a minimum of $125 one-way to bring a pet to the cabin, for example. Your hotel may also charge you more if you bring a pet along.
Of course, it’s not all bad to travel with your pet. There is plenty to enjoy as well. It may be the only way you can get enough peace of mind to travel. Many pet owners spend their entire trip worried if they don’t take their pets with them.
Bringing your pet with you can also help you get out and about more and explore your destination more in-depth than you might otherwise, and if you’re traveling alone for work or leisure, your pet can keep you company.
As is the case with most things, you should weigh the pros and cons before you make a decision to travel with your pet.
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