3 essential tips for travelling with a pet during the holidays
January 2, 2018 | 6:08 PM
by Courtesy of Brandpoint
Teach your cat or dog to rest calmly in a crate before you leave, so they have a familiar spot when travelling.

The holidays mean different things to different people. Every family seems to have its own set of traditions, but one thing seems to be common among Americans during this time of year, and that’s travelling.

“Pet parents are increasingly including their furry family members in their travel plans, especially during the holidays,” says pet expert Andrea Arden, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry. “In fact, our companion animals can be such a great source of comfort while we’re away from home, that some people can’t even conceive of a vacation without their dog or cat by their side.”

To ensure you and your animal companion bring cheer wherever you go, Arden has provided three essential tips for travelling with a pet this holiday season.

1. Prepare your pet

Like finding the perfect gift for your loved ones, the earlier you start to plan and prepare, the easier it will be. A great holiday vacation begins with a trip to the veterinarian to make sure your animal is in good health, has all the medications they might need (and perhaps some extras) and is up-to-date on vaccines. Along with their physical health, you want to make sure your dog or cat is mentally prepared for a journey that may involve new places, new smells and new people.

To get your four-legged friends ready for the adventure, bring your pet to unfamiliar places like a local park and have them interact with new faces. When you do this, be sure to bring plenty of treats to praise your pet and reinforce that these new experiences are positive and fun.

2. Avoid guilty faux paws

Forty per cent of travelling pet parents feel guilty about leaving their pets home during the holidays. That’s because pets are considered part of the family, and lots of people say pets should be included in all holiday festivities.

3. Practice good petiquette

We know, sometimes it’s hard to believe that your lovable, furry friend could misbehave. When travelling to unfamiliar places, a calm, happy animal makes everyone else calm and happy, too. Here are some pointers to ensure your pets stay on the nice list this holiday:

* Teach your cat or dog to rest calmly in a crate before you leave, so they have a familiar spot when travelling.

* If driving, take frequent breaks to walk your dog or check in on your cat.

* Bring along a chew toy that is filled with a little bit of food, as this serves as a great distraction for an anxious or bored animal.

* Outside, keep your pet on a leash and walk them away from public areas like flowerbeds. And always remember to clean up after them.

* Never leave your pet in a room alone, unless you are sure they will not disturb neighbours. If you must, leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, so housekeeping won’t startle them.

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