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To take them or not?

The summer months are filled with camping trips, lake trips and family vacations. Many families may opt to include their pet in their summer fun. But will your pet enjoy the trip as much as you think? We’re weighing some pros and cons to help you decide if it’s better to bring your pet or leave them behind.

An ideal situation for most pets, especially dogs, is to be anywhere you are regardless of the circumstances, but for some pets the new experience may be more stressful than it is enjoyable. When you are planning summer getaways and hope to include your pet, there are a few things you should consider before packing their suitcases and bringing them along.

How social and adaptable is your pet?

"Be prepared for how your pet may react by exposing them to different situations..."

Does your pet like other animals and people including those they have never met? Do you take them outside of your home normally? Pets that are used to going places with their owners and are frequently exposed to new people, animals and situations will likely do well on a family vacation. For pets that spend the majority of their time in their own surroundings, taking them to a new place could be stressful for both you and your pet. If you do plan to take your pet along, consider spending time before you go getting your pet socialized and exposed to new situations. That can be as simple as taking them to the pet store or even just the park each weekend. Pets under stress may express their anxiety by damaging items, going to the bathroom in strange places, or may even have a change in personality. Be prepared for how your pet may react by exposing them to different situations long before you decide to travel with them.Isolated cat

Do they like the car?

If your trip includes a lengthy car trip, you’ll want to make sure your pet will enjoy the ride. Pets may experience motion sickness, boredom, or even fear in the car, which may add more stress to your trip. Dogs can be let out at various stops to use the restroom, but that can be tricky for cats. If your pet doesn’t have much experience in the car, begin exposing them to short trips and work your way up to longer trips. If your pet does experience motion sickness or anxiety, at least you can prepare for that by talking with your vet about possible solutions.

Are you traveling to a pet-friendly location?

A pet-friendly location involves more than just a hotel giving you the okay to bring your pet along. Are you going somewhere that your pet will have access to the outdoors? If you are staying in someone else’s home, can you trust that your pet is potty trained, well behaved, and won’t destroy anything? Not all vacations are well designed for pets, so consider where you are going and how you will spend your time. A cat may not mind spending several days in a hotel room, but it may make your dog a little stir-crazy.

Will you have time to spend with your pet?

Are your planning to sightsee, go on excursions, or spend a lot of time doing activities that aren’t pet-friendly? If your pet has to spend most of their time without you, they may as well stay home. Camping trips or relaxed trips complete with ample outdoor space are ideal for dogs but other vacations may not be quite as suited for your pet. Assess what your plans are and whether or not you want the hassle of worrying about your pet while you are trying to enjoy your time away.

More for pet lovers

How to travel with your dog
Top pet-friendly vacations spots
Airlines that allow pets in-cabin

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