Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

Travel With Pets: Vacationing with Cats & Dogs

by | May 15, 2019 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care | 1 comment

Travel With Pets: Vacationing with Cats & Dogs

We’re closing in on the summer holiday when travel with pets becomes a reality. I often travel to writers conferences. At the annual Cat Writers’ Conference, actual cats often attended. Some come by car, others fly on plans, and there are pros and cons for travel with pets.

vacation with pets

Whether you enjoy vacationing with cats and dogs, travel with pets on business, or go camping with pets, it’s important to gauge how well your individual pets will react. Plan ahead for any pet travel, and you and your pets will be happier.

Air Travel with Pets

Small pets that fit into carriers sized to slide under the seat can travel as carry-on luggage, but there is an added charge and a limit to the numbers that can be in the cabin at one time. Pet owners need up-to-date health certificates, a standard crate (size/details according to the flight restrictions), and it gets pricy.

While my Karma-Kat would qualify for “carry-on,” Shadow would have to travel as “extra baggage” which is safer/different than other shipping. That way he’s in a pressurized area that’s temperature controlled. There are restrictions re: time of year (too hot, too cold, etc).

dog travel

Traveling by air means you must prepare pets in advance for the trip, to be sure he or she’s comfortable for the length of the flight inside a crate—the hard, molded plastic ones are required for this. You’ll need to crate train your pet, so this is a happy, safe place for him.

Be sure all your contact information is on the carrier AND on the dog. I don’t recommend tranquilizers because that can cause problems at high altitudes with slowed heart rate and respiration, so it’s best if the dog doesn’t get upset about confinement.

Flying with a dog has always required health clearances, additional fees, and certain restrictions. Recently, fees have grown to embarrassing proportions, and requirements vary from carrier to carrier. Some carriers only accept pets as carry-on.

Breed Considerations

Some breeds like Pit Bulls are not allowed to fly on certain carriers because of the perception of the breed. Others may prohibit “snub-nosed dogs” (which includes Pit Bulls) because of the health risk during warm weather that reaches 70 degrees or more.

Do your homework before planning a trip that includes the dog or cat. Different airlines have different policies. The rules for traveling with service animals (or emotional support animals/ESAs) are different. Here are links to popular carriers, but check for updates before planning your trip.

Pets & American Airlines

Pets & Delta Airlines

Pets & United Airlines

Pets & Southwest Airlines

Car Travel & Vacationing with Pets

Traveling by car? That often offers more convenience for you and the pets, especially if you can take your time. But along the way you may need to stop in a hotel. Not all hotels accept pets, or they may charge extra, so research good options in advance. The Pets Are Welcome website offers a good listing.

Cats don’t tend to be eager travelers. Many cats seem to hate vacations and act out while you’re gone, or when you come home. But many dogs love adventure and most have a wonderful time at hotels. Just be sure your furry companions are good guests, or you could be in for a costly fine. You may love meeting strange dogs when you travel, but other guests could be scared of pets, or allergic to them, so think ahead so your pets are welcomed and polite.

dog travel

Dogs that make a fuss at home when left alone or suffer separation anxiety probably aren’t good travelers either and may howl if left alone in the hotel room. Most hoteliers prefer your dog be crated when she must be left alone in the room, because kenneling dogs virtually eliminates the chance of room damage, and also reassures the housekeeping folks who may be afraid of dogs. Pets accustomed to crates also feel safer and happier when inside the familiar “den.”

Leave her a legal chew toy, especially something from home that she already loves. Leave on the radio or television to soothe and distract your pet when you can’t be there. That also can muffle noises that might concern a nervous pet. Put a do not disturb sign on the door when pets are left alone in the room to keep housekeeping from entering when you’re not there.

Potty Timing

Take a portable or disposable litter box (an aluminum turkey roaster works well), and litter for your cat, and dispose of waste in a sealed plastic bag. Walk your dog in pet-designated areas at hotels before 7 am, to avoid running into other hotel guests who may not care for dogs. Most business travelers have meetings during the day but try to avoid busy lunch and dinner hours when traffic in the hotel increases. Ask about using the service elevator to avoid contact with other guests or pets.

Duplicate the pet’s home bedtime plan. Bring her blanket, bed or crate. If the pet usually sleeps with you, spread a blanket or towels over top of the bedspread to protect from shedding. The sheets should be washed anyway, and if you don’t mind and the dog is clean, snuggle away.

Your turn–do you travel or vacation with your pets? Here’s a post about tips for holiday visits with pets. What about you? Do tell! What tips would you recommend?

YouTube Button

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!

1 Comment

  1. Crystal

    Interesting post. Never thought of some of these ideas like roaster. Great post.



  1. Pet Vacation Options: Boarding, Pet Sitters, Stay-Cation?AMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Good pet vacation plans depend on the individual pet and your special circumstances. Does your dog love riding in…
  2. Why Do Cats Hate Vacations? Does My Cat Hate Me for Leaving?AMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] You’ve had the most wonderful vacation ever, and can’t wait to get home to the fur kids. Maybe you…
  3. Vacations With or Without Pets: Choosing Pet Sitters - […] this week to the Cat Writers’ Association and BlogPaws conference, and would love to travel with pets along the…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recent Posts

Cat Fight! What to Do

How do you stop a cat fight? And how do you know if the cat fighting turns serious—rather than just kitten play? Shadow-Pup thinks it’s great fun to chase and wrestle with Karma-Kat. We supervise, of course, and interrupt the play should one or the other object.

If you’re looking for help with dog aggression, go here.

There are many kinds of cat aggression, and many are perfectly normal behaviors. Certainly, it’s not fair to you or the cats to allow cats to fight. Learn how to recognize the potential and reasons behind cat aggression and fighting cats, and what you can do.

Welcome Trinity-Kitty: New Kitten Baby Makes Three!

On Monday September 11, 2023, a tiny speck of a kitten made her presence known with very loud MEWS and a personality way bigger than anyone expected. Hungry, full of fleas, and the expected roundworms (and probably tapes because…fleas), her eyes and ears looked too big for her delicate wedge-shaped face.

Now, I get alerts about “found” kittens all the time, and sadly, can’t take any of them. This baby proved different in so many ways–only some of which I can share. While at the grocery picking up kitten food, my husband called and I explained my next stop at church—Trinity Lutheran—where I hoped to find a forever-home for the baby with a family who tragically lost a beloved kitty. And I told him if that didn’t work out, we likely had a third furry wonder for our home.

My friends at church, not yet ready to welcome a new pet, meant that the kitten came home with me. It seems that the Higher Being with whom all things are possible, made sure she found her way to us. He knew we needed her as much as she needed us.

How to Read Dog Poop: Normal Dog Poop to Dog Poop Problems

How to Read Dog Poop: Normal Dog Poop to Dog Poop Problems

Everyone who shares a home (and heart) with a dog at some point must deal with dog poop problems. Learning what’s normal, to yellow colored stool, or learning how serious blood in dog’s stool diarrhea may be helps get your dog help. While it may not be the most appealing topic, learning about your dog’s “creativity” offers important insight into his health.

Not only his food, but also your dog’s environment and emotional state, affects how his body works. Fear, anxiety, and stress can change a dog’s behavior, but also can disrupt digestion and cause enteritis. That in turn affects his poop.

Recognizing healthy elimination helps pet owners alert to abnormal eliminations. That way, when necessary, you can get your dog prompt medical help to diagnose and treat problems before they become worse.

BREAKING NEWS! Amy’s Book Sales Direct–Discounted Thrillers & Pet Nonfiction

I created an online store to sell my digital and print titles DIRECT TO YOU! In today’s world, with so much up in the air, many authors now make direct book sales available, because we control the price (and can DISCOUNT to you!), and because … well, I have control over Amy Shojai’s books.

Yes, you can still find all of my titles on the various platforms (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple, GooglePlay, Audible, Chirp and more). This way, though, I earn more on each sale while offering you, dear readers, a better deal than other retailers. That means I can write more books, update existing titles, and keep providing you with what you need.

Read on to learn more about Amy Shojai Books Direct!

Why Dogs Look Guilty: Do Dogs Feel Guilty or Embarrassed?

When your dog meets you at the door, head low with ears slicked back and eyes averted, is that a canine apology? Does your dog look guilty? The behaviors certainly mimic what humans associate with feeling shame or apology.

We know dogs can feel grief, but whether guilty behavior accurately reflects the dog’s true feelings is open to debate. Learn more about what your dog says with these behaviors!

Adopting “Other-Abled” and Less Adoptable Pets

September 19-25 is National Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week, founded by The organization encourages shelters and rescues to create special week-long events devoted to giving overlooked pets like those with disabilities a better chance at finding homes.

This struck a chord with me, especially after living with a tri-pawd dog when Bravo lost his leg. He didn’t act disabled, though. Have you ever adopted an other-abled pet or less adoptable pet?

What Is A Less Adoptable Pet

Why less adoptable? They’re the wrong breed or have special needs. Overlooked pets include deaf dogs or deaf cats, blind pets, or those missing a limb. Many folks prefer the ‘perfect’ cute puppy or kitten and don’t want a crippled pet, or just don’t like the color of the dog or cat. Of course, we know black dogs and cats, and those with only one eye, or three legs, still love us with all their furry hearts! Read on…

Avoid Puppy Mills with this 10 Question Check List!

Know the Puppy Mill Score—Puppy Source Check List There are many places to find your dream puppy, and some are clearly better options than others. Avoid puppy mills at all cost. Of course, your heart can overrule logic if you are smitten by a needy baby, but...

Why Do Cats Fight After Vet Visits? How to Stop Cat Bashing

Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off, and Kitty no longer fears the carrier and handles the car ride with almost no signs of fear, anxiety or stress. Kitty purrs and cheek-bonks the veterinary technicians, and barely notices the doctor’s exam through all the petting and tasty treats. But as soon as you get home, Kitty’s former feline friends snub him, or worse. Why do cats fight after vet visits? What’s up with all the cat bashing?

What A Pain! Understanding Pet Pain & What to Do When Pets Hurt

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, so I wanted to share this vital information again. We know pain hurts, but pain in pets and treating pet pain when pets hurt confuses us. They can’t tell us they feel pain, or where it hurts. Not like humans.

Because I get to work at home, there are certain perks I enjoy–such as going barefoot to work. But one afternoon last fall I moved too fast and kicked the whey outta my big toe. This wasn’t just a stubbed toe, either—it lifted and peeled the nail back to the quick, bled everywhere and hurt like the devil! Yes, I said a few choice words as I hobbled down the stairs from my office (trying not to leave a bloody trail) to get bandage material. Ooooooh, that puppy throbbed and made me whimper and howl, let me tell you.
I understand how Magical-Dawg felt several years ago. After a run in the field playing fetch, he started shivering when he came inside. The ninety-degree weather argued that he was not chilled. I checked him head-to-tail, and found nothing wrong. But later in the week, he again started shivering, and even growled at me when I asked him to move—very uncharacteristic.

Finally, after several days and two vet visits, we figured out his problem. He’d torn a dewclaw back to the quick. it hadn’t come off, so the injury remained hidden. Seren-kitty had this happen once, too, when her claw caught on bedding as she leaped from the pillow. She hid. But Magic’s short temper, shivers, and hyper-alert behavior resulted from being in pain. Here’s what you need to know to help your pets.

Pet First Aid Medicine Chest: Home Remedies to Save Pet Lives

Do you have a pet 1st aid medicine chest for your dogs and cats? The audiobook version of my first aid book for pets includes some DIY home remedies for old pets. While your veterinarian diagnoses and prescribes for your pet’s health issues, pet first aid and minor problems may benefit from human medicines.

Home remedies for pets save $$ and pet lives because Fido and Sheba rarely tears a claw or eats something iffy during regular clinic hours. It’s helpful to know how to use your pantry supplies and human medicine chest to help your cat or dog. Some people prescriptions can be dangerous (especially for cats!) so it’s a good idea to have a handy list.

Visit Amy's Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to