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Tips on traveling with furry friends

For some people, a beloved pet is often considered part of the family and they won’t go anywhere without them. It is a good idea to take time to research pet-friendly destinations before making reservations.

Keep the following Better Business Bureau (BBB) tips in mind when planning a trip with your pets:

• Traveling by plane. If the pet is small enough, depending on the carrier, it may be kept under the seat in front of you. If the pet is too large, it will go in cargo. No matter what, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a BBB Accredited Charity, recommends making an appointment with the veterinarian for a checkup to make sure the animal is fit to fly the friendly skies. Research airlines at to see their BBB Rating and if there are complaints or reviews from past customers on file about flying with pets.

• Road trips. Before bringing Fluffy or Fido on a long car trip, make sure the pet responds well to car rides. The ASPCA recommends keeping them safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier with plenty of food or water. Put together a pet travel kit, and prepare for the worst. If you’re renting a car, make sure that the company allows animals and ask if you’ll be charged extra.

• Look ahead to make sure accommodations and destinations are pet-friendly. Wherever you’re staying, whether it be a hotel, vacation rental, or with friends or family, ensure that pets are welcome. Ask if there are extra costs or regulations. Research pet-friendly activities ahead of time – do the local beaches or natural areas allow pets?

• If necessary, it might be wise to leave the pet behind. Traveling with pets can be stressful for both you and the animal, and sometimes it’s just not feasible. Thankfully, you have options. You can hire a pet sitter to visit your animals in your own home, letting them stay in their natural environment where they’re most comfortable. You can also opt for a traditional boarding facility, like a kennel or pet hotel.

Policies regarding pets may have changed during the pandemic. Contact the airline or hotel before booking the reservation.