And We’re Off

Woman Fastening Dog In Car With Safe Belt In Seat Booster

Pre-planning is key to traveling well with your furry friend

As summer looms, let’s talk about vacation plans and how our four-legged members of the family fit in. As you pre-plan for your trips, reach out to any hotel you are planning to stay in to ensure it is truly pet-friendly; just because it says “pet-friendly” doesn’t always mean every kind of pet or breed is allowed. Also be sure your pet is up to date on his or her vaccinations. It’s a good idea to get a physical examination by a veterinarian for your pet before long trips. And if your pet needs anti-anxiety or anti-nausea medications, this would be the time to discuss it. Remember to bring a copy of your pet’s medical record and rabies certificate/tag on your trip. When crossing state lines, you are legally required to have a veterinarian-issued health certificate. Enforcement of such for dogs and cats, however, is rare and would be an enormous undertaking for federal authorities.

Ensuring your animal is comfortable in your vehicle is also incredibly important. Rooftop transportation is out, and harnesses and seat belts for dogs are in these days. Cats are safest in a secured pet carrier. And be aware of the little things that are unique to your animal when traveling. My little dog, Rugby, for example, is prone to pressing the window open button in the back seat. That and his tendency to leap out at passing cars makes for a very dangerous situation. Leashes and crates are very important for transporting from the car to the place you are staying. Also, an important reminder about how quickly car interiors heat up when parked. Figure out a reminder system so that your animal does not get left in the car on a hot summer day.

And finally, coming out of this crazy year we have had, perhaps a pet-sitter is the way to go. Just maybe, your pet would like to have the house to herself for a change.

Head to for some of the best pet-friendly hotels in and around the Knoxville region.   

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