Should You Travel With or Kennel Your Pet?
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated November 25, 2013)
Deciding whether you should travel with or kennel your pet can often be a traumatic decision for a pet owner. That being said, if you are going on a trip or travel often for your job this is a question that will come up quite a bit. While the decision will ultimately be up to you, here are a few guidelines that you can use to help you make a final decision. The best way to do this is simply write down the answers to each of these questions, and by the time that you have answered all of them you will have a good idea of whether you should be taking your furry friend with you, or if you should take them to a pet hotel.
- What is your pet like? Just as with people, not all pets are very comfortable with traveling. There are plenty of tales about a pet who gets sick while flying, or driving, and making a mess everywhere and driving their owner's nuts. Have you noticed any behavior that may indicate how your pet may react in this situation before? If not, you may want to take a few dry runs to find out.
- Can your pet handle you being gone? In many ways pets are like children, and that means that they may not handle being separated from you all that well. In the event that your pet doesn't handle being away from you very well, then you may want to seriously consider taking them with you.
- Where will you be going? Do you know the pet policy of where you will be going? Not all locations will accept pets, and even those that do will require some additional money as a "pet deposit" to cover any additional cleaning after you are gone. If the hotel doesn't accept pets, and you then try to sneak it in, you can easily find yourself being "asked" to leave.
- Do you have the paperwork? If you take your pet with you on your trip, then you may be required to show that your pet is in good health. Believe it or not, just as many countries will require a health certificate to prove that that your pet is in good health, so do many states. While you having a certificate can show that your pet is in good health, you may still be required to leave your pet in quarantine to prove it. In addition to this, you will need to make sure that any pet tags and licenses that you have are up to date and accurate.
- Have you contacted your vet? Make sure that you contact your vet while you are considering whether or not you want to take your pet with you. The vet should be able to tell you if your pet is physically capable of taking the trip at all, which may not be the case if you have an older pet. In addition, you can also have your vet help you with the paperwork necessary for taking a pet out of the state, or even out of the country. In the event that you are not going to be taking your pet with you, a vet can help you by providing the names of reputable and trustworthy kennels or pet hotels.
- Compare the cost between kenneling and traveling. While it should never be the single deciding factor, you can't overlook the cost involved with either taking a pet or boarding a pet while you are away. Once you have a few names in mind for possible kennels or pet hotels, call around and see what they charge. When that is done, figure out how much it will cost to take your pet with you. Don't forget to figure in a pet deposit at the hotel when you are doing this. Compare the different amounts, and see which one will be more cost effective.