Trip tips

Holiday travel with Fido and Fluffy in tow


Washington Post Service

Now that fall has officially arrived, lots of pet owners are looking ahead to travel during the holidays and take their animals with them. Make sure that everyone involved is ready for this, including your pet.

Here are some things to consider.

• If you are planning to bring your dog or cat to an out-of-town gathering, check with your host or hostess first. If you are going to stay in someone’s home, make sure they are comfortable with having your pet as a guest. If not, ask now for suggestions of pet-friendly facilities nearby. Hotels and inns that accept pets are often very popular during holidays and book up early.

• If you are planning to travel by plane, make sure your pet can be accommodated and check with your airline about restrictions and instructions. Airlines may offer several options, including travel in the cabin, as checked luggage or as cargo. Fees can be steep, and a limited number of slots for pets can fill up quickly.

• Make sure your pet goes to the vet to be checked out. Bring complete medical records and dates of vaccines.

• Bring along a good supply of your pet’s usual food and make sure you’ve got water and bowls available.

• Cats are not as likely as dogs to enjoy going along for the ride. Most felines prefer staying in their own homes where they are most comfortable. If you do plan to travel with your cat, take out your carrier a week in advance, line it with one of your cat’s favorite blankets and maybe a T-shirt you’ve worn, and put in a few catnip toys. Hopefully, your cat will get used to spending a bit of time in there before the trip. When departure day comes, your cat might not yowl as loudly as he might have if you had just sprung the carrier on him.

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