Travels with Fido

With the risk of a bad kennel and the often poor treatment of pets by airlines, more and more travellers are opting to take Fido or Fluffy on the road. Travelling with your pet can be fun and rewarding, but remember that it always requires some extra precautions to ensure a safe and happy trip for you and your pooch or kitty.

The first priority is finding a pet-friendly place to stay. CAA offers a “Travelling With Your Pet” guide that includes more than 10,000 listings of accommodations in North America that accept pets, as well as tips on travelling by car or air, preparing for the trip, selecting a travel kennel and taking an outdoor or active vacation. The 1999 edition also has listings of animal clinics in North America, Canadian and U.S. national parks that allow pets, information for travellers with disabilities who travel with companion animals, and border crossing information for transporting pets between Canada and the United States.

Some tips gleaned from the book include:

  • Before travelling, get your pet a clean bill of health from the veterinarian. Obtain a health certificate showing proof of up-to-date inoculations, including rabies and distemper.


  • Purchase a good quality carrier for your pet, which will also provide Fido with a safe, reassuring place to stay when confinement is necessary. Before the trip, let him try out the carrier, so that he sees the crate as a cosy den rather than a cage.

  • To prevent heatstroke or hypothermia, never leave pets unattended in a vehicle, even if only for a few minutes. Heed airlines restrictions on pet travel, and carefully investigate their animal welfare policies.

  • Always ask about about pet policies before making lodging reservations.

  • Above all, practice good “petiquette.” Barking dogs do not make good hotel neighbours — keep your pet quiet, and leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door if you go out without your pet.