Holiday travel tips for pet owners

  • By David Aaron Moore The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Saturday, November 24, 2012 5:27pm
  • Life

Though Grandma may welcome the kids with open arms as families travel for holiday visits, bringing along the family pet may elicit a different response.

So what do you do when your canine buddy or feline pal can’t join in the holiday fun? Here are some options:

Boarding: Boarding is particularly popular among dog owners, but pet lovers say to book early as slots in kennels and veterinarians’ offices fill up early.

Professional pet sitters: Pet sitters can be found through mutual friends or on websites such as www.petsitters.org.

“I have a longtime pet sitter I’ve worked with for many years,” said Norcross resident Laura Mason, the owner of an American tabby and a border collie.

“She’ll come by once daily — or twice for a slight additional charge, if I request — to make sure my animals have proper food and water,” Mason said. “She’ll take the dog for a walk, clean the cat’s litter box and spend quality time with them.”

Friends: A good friend who gets along well with a pet may be the most economical option. There are multiple bonuses: You know the person, and the pet knows the individual, as well. Just make sure the friend is aware of where the food is kept, how much the pet eats and drinks daily, and whom to call in the event of an emergency.

Take them along: If you do take Fido and are traveling by plane, talk with the airline about charges and potential hazards during transport. Air flight can be potentially traumatizing, and many airlines require sedation for the pet.

If you’re driving, it can be fun, or a nightmare, pet owners said. Cats generally don’t enjoy car rides, unless socialized from youth. If you’re traveling in a car with an older, inexperienced cat, keep the cat safe in a kennel. Don’t forget to bring a small portable litter box.

Generally, dogs see road trips as a fun outing.

Doggie treats, chew toys, a pallet and even soothing music may help to keep them calm.

Another important consideration is if you’re planning any overnight stays at a hotel. Visit www.officialpethotels.com for a list of pet-friendly places you can rest alongside your four-legged friend.

More in Life

Shrimp and grits, rendered healthful and Italian? We’re in.

This recipe features a sauce made with olive oil, tomatoes and herbs instead of cheese and cream.

UFO at Paine Field playground was left by an artist — not aliens

The flying saucer at community park in Everett is a cosmic attraction.

Chef James Abbott makes Buck’s peanut butter pie at Buck’s American Cafe in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Fur & Feathers: 4 lovable dogs need homes

Meet Lola, Sadie, Scooter and Chance

Sweet baking tips: How to rescue brown sugar that’s turned hard

Soften the rock solid stuff, then try this recipe for chocolate chunk cookies with sea salt.

Valentina Bogdanova, 74, loves working in the gardens that nearly surround the Bakerview Apartments, where she has lived for 20 years. The units are among 16 affordable and subsidized properties leased to seniors by the Everett Housing Authority. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
As real estate booms, those with fixed-incomes need help

When senior citizens get housing, they are able to ‘age in place.’

Visiting Germany’s Lutherland, birthplace of Reformation

The sights include the church where the first Protestant service took place in 1521.

Can you top ‘Hamilton’? Author Ron Chernow is about to find out

The notable writer’s latest book, published Oct. 10, is a lengthy biography on Ulysses S. Grant.

Try this tailgate snack: Sticky wings with honey and Sriracha

Forget the typical Buffalo flavor: Shake up game-day Sunday with this Asian-style chicken recipe.

Most Read