Callie and I are headed back to the east coast tonight on a redeye flight to spend the holidays with my family. Traveling in general is stressful (especially during the holidays!) but after several roadtrips from Chicago to New Jersey and over a dozen flights with Callie, I’ve definitely learned a few tricks to help things go smoothly. In case you’re headed home for the holidays with a pet in tow, I wanted to share a little advice:
Pack & Prep: Along with my own packing list, I always plan out what’s needed for Callie’s trip as well to avoid forgetting anything important. Measure out your pup’s food ahead of time (Callie eats Petcurean’s Now Fresh food) and pack an extra two day’s worth in case of any unexpected flight cancelations and pack both a food and water bowl – we have these collapsable bowls which pack flat! Beyond Callie’s necessities I also always like to bring a few fun things, like her favorite ball and a new bone to help keep her distracted.
Tire Them Out: Traveling can be really stressful for your pet as well and tiring them out before hopping in the car or on a flight always helps them relax and get some rest. Head to the park before your trip and play fetch with your pup or take them on a few extra long walks in the days leading up to your travel. A tired dog is a calm dog when it comes to travel!
Safe and Secure: Keep your pet safe during travel in a travel carrier (Callie flies under my seat on flights in this one) or seat belt harness for car rides – my dad has been a huge advocate for seat belts on dogs as he’s seen many injuries from pups who have gone flying when the breaks were hit. Make sure your dog is always wearing its ID tags for any travel and that your contact information is up to date on their microchip in case of emergency.
Practice Ahead of Time: If you wait until the day of your trip to introduce your dog to its travel bag, you’re going to have a bad trip ;) Get your dog used to being contained in its travel bag ahead of time, introducing the bag as a positive place to be and be well behaved. Begin by just getting your dog to go in and lay down in the bag, then zip the bag closed and gradually increase the amount of time the dog stays in the bag to help prep them for staying quiet and comfortable in the travel bag during the flight or car ride.
Always Have Snacks on Hand: From training to moments of restlessness on the flight, I always have snacks on hand to help keep Callie happy during travels. Callie’s newest favorite treats have been Petcurean’s SPIKE all natural dog treats – they’re little jerky strips that also have superfoods like chia, pomegranate and kale (sometimes I swear she eats better than I do!) and are free from by-products, added growth hormones, glycerin and artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. We’ve been prepping for the trip in her travel bag and she’ll be getting a treat immediately when she goes in the bag tomorrow evening when we leave for the airport and I’ll have ’em handy during our overnight flight to help distract her if she gets restless at all, plus a celebratory snack when we finally land at EWR. Having snacks on hand is a great way to keep the travel experience positive for your pup and the SPIKE jerky is perfect because it’s a healthy treat that can be broken into small bites. If all goes well tomorrow rumor has it that there’s another bag of SPIKE treats waiting in New Jersey for Callie’s stocking on Christmas morning too ;)
Will you be traveling home for the holidays with your pet?
This post was sponsored by Petcurean as part of an ongoing partnership and as always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own – authenticity is a top priority and I only partner with brands I truly love. Thank you for supporting the brands that partner with Pretty & Fun!