traveling with pets

September 19, 2016 | Mel Hignell

Pet Travel Tips

Traveling to Portland without your pooch? Prepare yourself for what you’re about to experience—dogs chilling on airy bar patios, frolicking at dog parks and beaches, hiking Forest Park trails, dining on doggie delights at the Tin Shed, and of course, those mason jars full of treats at every mom-and-pop shop on Mississippi Ave.

Why feel guilty for not bringing your main dude to a dog-paradise like Portland? Just take him with you! It’s getting easier to travel the US with your pets. Not only are airlines and airports more accommodating than ever, but Airbnb hosts are an animal-loving bunch who often welcome your pets with open arms (and bags of treats).

Most airlines will only let pets under a certain size travel with you in the cabin, but nearly all will accept your pet as cargo. You’ll need a carrier either way, and there’s a dozen more rules about those that are specific to your airline. It’s a good idea to call the airline before booking the flight to make sure your pet gets to ride in style.

If you’re the type of traveler who gets to be selective about your connecting flights, shoot for one of the many airports with indoor pet relief areas! Your pooch can poop her heart out without leaving security at Washington Dulles, Seattle-Tacoma, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Chicago O’Hare, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis, NY JFK, and Salt Lake City airports. Check out Dogjaunt.com for reviews of every US pet relief area. Yes, reviews for government-certified poop zones.

When it comes to lodging, filter your Airbnb search to show only properties that’ll warmly welcome your pets. When searching, click the “Filters” button and check “Pets Allowed” under Amenities. Just remember that while your hosts look forward to accommodating your pup, you’ll need to make sure your dog will fit in with the space. A couple things to remember:

  • If your dog seems skittish around children, avoid properties where youth roam free. Little kids are fast-moving and uncoordinated—two qualities that could put your dog on the defense and cause him to bite.
  • Some pet-friendly hosts have pets of their own. If your dog isn’t socialized with other animals, don’t even try it—it’s not worth the vet bills.
  • Even if your perfect poodle has never had an ac
    cident at home, you’ll need to stay vigilant while you travel. Sudden changes in environment could throw off your dog’s stamina for holding it in. Plan for extra walks and don’t forget the poop bags.

Now hurry and book that perfect getaway to Portland for you and your dog before those holiday fares arrive.

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