1. Plan Ahead
It's already too late for some things (people choosing to board their pets know that most kennels are probably booked by now), but it's still wise -- not to mention polite -- to double check with all hosts, family and friends you'll be seeing to make sure that they're okay with your four-legged tagalong. It's easy to assume that everyone is a pet lover like you, but in reality this simply isn't the case.
2. Get Your Vehicle Ready
In honor of Pet Travel Safety Awareness Month (and also because it's always smart), be sure that your car is ready to safely transport your pet. Take a practice run with the safety harness you've selected to make sure it's going to work, and don't forget to pack extra leashes and water dishes in the trunk just in case you need them.
3. Think About Food
The holiday season could also be known as "table scrap season," and it's up to you to establish some boundaries. A few bits of turkey might not hurt, but don't overdo it when it comes to treating your pet to rich, fatty food. If you're traveling somewhere else or entertaining guests, it's also important to educate your fellow animal lovers about what's okay and what's not okay (remember that grapes, chocolate, alcohol, etc. are all big no-no's for dogs).
4. Organize Your Info
When leaving your home base, it's especially important to have all rabies and ID tags properly displayed, and in the event of a separation (fingers crossed that doesn't happen), keep a current photo of your pet in your wallet or on your smart phone.
5. Have Fun!
All too often, stress can creep into a holiday setting and make things more complicated than they need to be. Pets easily pick up on your anxiety, so do them a favor by keeping cool. A few simple techniques, like heading out for a brisk walk after being stuck in traffic all day or teaching your nieces and nephews to play Frisbee with Fido, can help remind you what the holidays are really all about.
Read more holiday pet travel tips, and feel free to share your own with us here or on Facebook!
Sweater season has arrived!