If you will be staying in motels, hotels, or campgrounds along the way, check ahead of time to ensure that the establishment will accept pet visitors and what (if any) extra fees or restrictions there might be. Sources of information include the hotel's phone or web site, web sites dedicated to travelers with pets, or your travel agent. Travel associations such as the American Automobile Association (AAA) can provide information on accommodations for members wishing to travel with a pet.
If at all possible, do not leave your pet unattended in a hotel or motel room. Putting a “do not disturb” sign on the door will help to ensure that your pet is not accidentally released by housekeeping staff. Keeping the animal in its kennel will also help to ensure that it does not escape the room.
Even if you are planning to stay with friends or relatives, be sure to check whether they will be able to keep your pet in their home and, if so, whether it will need to be caged during its stay. Allergies, other pets in the home, and your pet's reaction to an unfamiliar environment should not be taken for granted.
If you are camping with your pet, do not allow it to wander unattended. Animals in unfamiliar surroundings can easily become lost or injured; wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, porcupines, and snakes can all be potential hazards for your pet. Remember to check for fleas and ticks during and after the trip. If you have any concerns, have your pet examined by a veterinarian upon return.
Last full review/revision July 2011 by Charles M. Hendrix, DVM, PhD