(Family Features) – Vacations can be perfect opportunities to spend quality time with the family. Whether it’s a quick weekend trip to visit relatives or a well-researched camping trip, inviting the whole family – including the four-legged family members – is possible. Not only can it make the trip more inclusive and fun, but planning a trip with pets can alleviate the stress and cost of finding a pet-sitter.
To help make cities more pet-friendly, Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program is working to enact city policies that welcome pets in more places. For more tips to make your family vacation a pet-friendly affair, visit bettercitiesforpets.com.
Research Your Destination
When looking into a destination that includes the whole family, detailed research ahead of time can help prevent roadblocks that might arise due to pet restrictions. If your destination is negotiable, consider picking a city that’s been acclaimed for its pet-friendly policies. For example, Mars Petcare has recognized 42 cities as BETTER CITIES FOR PETS certified pet-friendly cities across the United States and Canada.
Make a Plan
Before leaving for your trip, book all accommodations to ensure your furry friend can coast by with no surprises. Check restaurant-booking services for pet-friendly patios and ensure hotels or accommodation rentals specify they’re open to pets. If you’re not sure where to start, try looking into locations with green spaces and no breed restrictions.
Keep It Consistent
To keep your furry friend as comfortable as possible, start with the basics. If your pet eats his or her meals at a designated time each day, keeping on schedule can be comforting in a new place. If your pet typically carries around a favorite toy, make sure it accompanies him or her on the trip. Keeping these routines with your pet can help the trip run smoothly.
Pack a Pet-Friendly Kit
Designate a suitcase or bag for your pet to help keep packing organized. Pack for day-to-day needs, like your furry friend’s meals and portable food and water bowls, as well as any medications your pet takes regularly. Anticipate any needs that may arise on the trip with a pet-friendly first-aid kit and make sure to take an up-to-date vaccination record with you.
Play It Safe
Before leaving home, ensure your pet is microchipped and the microchip data is up to date. Your pet’s collar should be safely secured and include current contact information on an ID tag. Labeling your pet’s crate with your name and contact information is also a good precaution if your pet will be on any form of public transportation with you.
Your pet will experience your trip differently than the rest of the family. Make sure to keep an eye on him or her for any clues of discomfort. What may be a manageable temperature for you and the rest of family might be a bit much for thick-coated pets. The volume of the radio might be just right for humans, but it might be too much for sensitive pet ears. Keeping your four-legged friend in mind every step of the way can help ensure the trip is enjoyable for the whole family.