For many of us, the holiday season involves traveling to spend time with the ones we love. When we add pets into the mix, whether to take them or leave them with a responsible caretaker, can be a difficult decision. Our helpful, easy-to-read guide includes the pros and cons of different travel options, to help you make the best decision for you and your pet this holiday season. 

The good and bad with air travel

Traveling “par avion” can be a great, convenient option for people and pets, but rigid rules and protocols can make air travel a headache for some travelers. Consider the following:

Air travel PROS

  • Air travel is usually the quickest option.
  • Many airports offer pet-relief areas, so you do not need to exit the airport security and lose time.
  • Taking your pet means you can keep each other company during your trip.
  • Since pets must be kept in secure crates or carriers for air travel, pet escape is not a big concern.

Air travel CONS

  • Pet fees may make travel more costly.
  • Lengthy flights and layovers without pet-relief areas mean fewer opportunities for pet potty breaks.
  • You must adhere to strict guidelines regarding pet size, approved pet carriers, and necessary paperwork.
  • Pets will need a health certificate from an accredited veterinarian prior to travel. Check with your destination for specific information.

Best and worst of car travel
For pets who travel well in the car, a road trip can be great fun for pet owners who aren’t bound by time constraints. Consider the following:

Car travel PROS

  • You and your pet can take rest, food, and play stops as needed throughout your trip.
  • Your pet will be under your care for the entire trip.
  • No specific rules or laws indicate your pet must be kept in a secure carrier or crate, but it is advised for safety reasons.

 Car travel CONS

  • Road trips typically take longer than air travel.
  • Your pet may need a health certificate from an accredited veterinarian, if you are planning interstate travel.
  • Some pets experience motion sickness, which medication may or may not alleviate.

To board or not to board your pet

Whether your destination does not allow pets, or you know your pet doesn’t travel well, boarding may be an excellent option. Conveniently, our boarding facility at TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Davidson is here for all your small dog or cat boarding needs.

Boarding PROS

  • You can rest assured that our veterinary team is nearby if your pet needs medical attention.
  • Your pet is safe, secure, and in the hands of experienced caretakers.
  • No health certificate is necessary for boarding.

Boarding CONS

  • Boarding may be more costly than traveling with your pet.
  • Holiday reservations may book up quickly.
  • Pets must be up-to-date on certain vaccinations. 

Other variables should be considered when deciding whether to travel with a pet. When looking at your destination, regard the following questions:

  • Are you staying with family or friends who have other pets? How do you see your pet interacting with these pets?
  • Does your hotel or Airbnb have particular pet rules or regulations?
  • Are there specific diseases that need to be considered at the geographical location where you are taking your pet?
  • Does your destination require a pet quarantine?

When making holiday travel plans that include your pet, consider a veterinary consultation for your furry friend. Whether you need a travel health certificate or updated vaccines for boarding, contact us to set up an appointment.