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Tips for a Pet Vacay with Fido During COVID-19

Golden retriever standing in blue water in front of a rocky coastline with houses in the background

Nothing beats traveling with our furry best friends during the holidays! If you’re apprehensive about travel during COVID-19, you can rest assured that dog-friendly resorts and hotels have prioritized hygiene practices to ensure optimal safety for their guests.

According to Fido Friendly, pet resorts are embracing “a new vision geared toward aggressive cleanliness guidelines which have been approved by public health officials and industry leaders, Stay Safe Guidelines not only embrace employee, guest health and physical distancing measures to keep everyone safe but also allow for all Fido-Friendly pet resorts to offer the ultimate summer getaway experience.”

Stay Safe Guidelines for U.S Pet Resorts and Hotels

The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance are meeting health and wellbeing standards by doing the following:

  • installation of social distancing floor decals
  • enforcing heightened and comprehensive cleanliness standards
  • placing sanitizing stations throughout hotels

Pet Boarding & Resorts During COVID-19

Fido Friendly adds that pet resorts like Paradise 4 Paws airport cat and dog resorts offer “and have also enhanced all safety measures post COVID-19 with curbside drop-off and pick-up with card-on-file to enable contactless payments and limit in-person interaction. 

They are requiring advanced reservations for boarding and advanced notice for drop-off outside of normal daycare hours. For those clients not using curbside drop-off, there’s a limit of one client at a time in the lobby with limited direct interaction with staff members. All clients need to wear masks or face coverings and fresh gloves as per CDC guidelines.”

If you’re looking to board a pet while you travel during the holidays, kennels, like the Dog House in Boise, Idaho offer “ doggies day camp with supervised play, social interaction, training, as well as plenty of goodies from its own bakery together with specialty dog items. 

Pet lovers understand the importance of overnight care and boarding if needed after a day filled with fun and lots of playtime. The Dog-House offers climate-controlled rooms and has upped the ante with coronavirus safety measures,” via Fido Friendly. 

The Dog House adds that ““All surfaces touched are thoroughly disinfected after each customer and hand sanitizer is provided at the register for those customers needing to come in and pay for services. One customer at a time in the gated area and one inside, two customers total inside the building at any given time. 

Any items brought for slumber party guests are handled with gloves until properly sanitized and are re-sanitized and handled with gloves upon the guest's departure. All areas of the store that have been occupied, are thoroughly cleaned at the end of the day. We are also offering a discount and/or payment arrangements to anyone facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19.”

Pet safety

We know that pet travel begins with finding the best pet-friendly resorts for both family and pooch. That said, it’s also important to keep pet safety in mind while traveling, and after you arrive at your location.

Pet parents should also book a direct flight to minimize the chances of pets getting lost. Midweek flights are less busy and are preferable for pet travel. If you’re traveling with your furry best friend, make sure that you arrive early, and also consider your dog’s feeding and exercise schedule ahead of time. Try not to fly your pet in the cargo section during the hot summer months to prevent overheating.

If you have to travel with Fido choose early morning or late evening flights in the summer. The same applies to the winter months when the cargo section may become too cold; choose midday flights when it’s warmer.  

Dogs should consume a light meal a few hours prior to traveling by air and should have a frozen bowl of water in the crate which should be attached to the crate door.

Pet travel restrictions will vary across airlines, and with seasons and destinations. Whether you’re traveling with JetBlue or Hawaiian Airlines, be sure to be current with all your airlines’ pet travel requirements.

In-Cabin Pet Travel

If your furry best friend is going to be traveling alongside you in the cabin, you will have more control over his health and safety, yet you will also have to make sure that he does not disturb other passengers on the plane. All airlines will discuss their cabin-pet policies with you before travel. Always inquire about their carrier preferences, and make sure that you have the size specifications required by that particular airline. Visit your airline’s website to find out specific requirements.

Cargo Pet Travel

If flying is the only option, opt not to sedate. Ensure that the outside temperatures at your origin and destination are not going to be too cold or too hot. If your dog is going to be traveling cargo, extreme temperatures can make travel dangerous and uncomfortable. Thankfully many airlines won’t transport dogs if the temperatures are extreme. Consult with your veterinarian prior to all air travel.

Pet travel kit

It’s always fun preparing a travel kit for your furry best friend with his favorite treats, non-squeaky toys, food, and pet meds. Bring along iced water, and a dish. The most suitable ones for pet travel are the ones that fasten on to the carrier and act as a squeeze –top water bottle. This ensures a mess-free trip. Also keep in mind that spare leashes, harnesses, collars, and ID tags along with a life jacket for fun swims are important items to bring along.

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Positively training your dog for travel

We love our dogs and want them constantly at our side. But to do this, your dogs need to understand some simple rules. This is very important if you plan on traveling with your dog, and want a hassle-free vacation. 

Basic training commands such as sit, down, stay, come, and heel, help make it easier to communicate with your canine companion. Each of these is an essential part of exercising control over your dog’s behavior and teaching him to understand what you want.

The key to successful dog training is to help your dogs experience success without any fear of failure. This is achieved through approximation training. Break down each behavior into tiny components so that your dog can understand the behavior required from him. All these small successes set your dog up for success in dog training, keeping him interested, as well as building up his confidence. 

To achieve the desired result, your dog needs a disciplined program of training and positive reinforcement. If you’re in a rush to brush up on some simple dog training cues before traveling, reach out to a positive dog trainer in your area.

Training all dog breeds requires positive reinforcement for each obedient response with praise or treats. Dog training today means finding the right dog trainer to suit your dog’s quirks and particular needs. With your dog being a member of the family, remember when you take on that new puppy, you’ll want to be certain of the abilities you want from your canine companion to master. That said, before you travel with your furry best friend, make sure that he’s well-behaved and good around people, most especially in public areas like hotels, airports, beaches, and so forth.

Pet Insurance for pet travel

Just as we have health insurance, the need for pet insurance has become a necessity today with rising veterinary care costs, and the alarmingly high cancer rates in dogs. Senior pets also continue to live longer, and with that comes geriatric pet care and expensive pharmaceutical products. 

Having pet insurance while you travel ensures that your pet is covered while traveling, and can see a veterinarian if he gets sick or depressed while away from home. 

Although it’s beneficial to have pet insurance to cover veterinary costs, it’s important to keep in mind that not all pet insurances will cover pre-existing conditions. That said, it’s necessary to examine the different types of coverage, and to see which one is best for you and your furry best friends. Here are some tips to consider before purchasing pet health insurance for your furry best friend:

  • Check to see if annual check-ups and preventative treatments (vaccines) are covered.
  • Do you need to pay your veterinarian upfront first before submitting a claim to your pet insurance?
  • Are pre-existing health conditions covered?
  • What are your premiums, deductibles, and reimbursement payouts?
  • Check out customer service, and see whether they’re efficient and helpful.
  • Consult with your veterinarian
  • Is there a waiting period?
  • Read the reviews, and opt for reputable pet insurance companies that have been around for a while.
  • Are breed-specific conditions covered?
  • Are Cancer treatments covered?
  • Will diagnostic testing and imaging like X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRI’s be covered?
  • Read about surgery, hospitalization, and veterinary care coverage. Read the small print too.
  • How about alternative therapies and rehabilitation?
  • Is ER and specialist care covered?
  • And finally, is there a Prescription Drug Coverage Plan? (this may be included in your plan). This is important to look into in case your pet has a long-term illness.
  • Check to see if veterinary care and meds are covered while you travel. There are also some plans that cover international pet health care costs.

While we all understand that a healthy dog is a happy dog, it’s important to target the unexpected, like pet emergencies when searching for a great pet health insurance. Dental care coverage is also important since periodontal disease may lead to serious health conditions. 

Dental cleanings with anesthesia may be costly, and more so if extractions are needed. Keep in mind that your dog could have a dental issue while on holiday, and may need to be sedated for extraction, or need treatment for a painful ear infection related to swimming.

All in all, educating yourself about the benefits of traveling with your furry best friend during the COVID-19 pandemic allows for family fun and bonding. As long as you maintain optimal CDC safety measures with face coverings, you’ll enjoy the numerous benefits of a pet vacay.

CBD for Pet Travel

Even though you may be taking your dog to positive dog training classes and enjoying lots of dog sports like agility, you may still be faced with a hyperactive dog when you travel. That’s where CBD is really helpful.

CBD for hyperactive dogs during travel

During times when your dog is stressed out and anxious due to environmental stress factors like thunder, fireworks, and travel stays in strange hotels, CBD may be beneficial in calming him. Some dogs may become super energetic during travel because they aren’t exercised as much. By trying to maintain a similar exercise schedule with your dog, you’ll be able to help him calm down.

CBD helps with digestion and stomach issues while traveling

Natural Doggie CBD pet products are natural cannabidiol high-quality pet products that work as a great alternative to medications that may have long- term side effects. The natural and healthy ingredients found in Natural Doggie CBD pet products are of high-quality and contain macro and micronutrients for good gut health. Full-spectrum CBD oil may be beneficial for gut and digestive issues in dogs and may reduce inflammation and bloating. This phytocannabinoid stimulates healing in the body when activating the endocannabinoid system.

CBD relieves travel-related nausea 

CBD acts on the endocannabinoid receptors and affects the receptors by regulating neural transmissions. CBD oil for dogs is helpful in the treatment of numerous conditions without taking on the intoxicating effect of marijuana. 

A few product lines contain phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids which support a huge range of ailments like phobias, anxiousness, joint pain, inflammation, digestive issues, mobility, seizures, and anxiety.

CBD dog treats 

CBD edibles for dogs are easy to feed, and also can be used for dual purposes, although this needs to be done carefully, so as not to exceed the required CBD dosage. CBD dog treats are also easy to take along when traveling and beneficial for travel-related anxiety and stress.

With any CBD dog treat brand or other forms of CBD edibles for pets, the dosage will vary according to the CBD pet brand you choose. That said, some dogs may not enjoy a certain texture, taste, or formula, and one would need to switch brands. It’s also important to choose 100% natural and organic. 

CBD treats that are made with high-quality ingredients, and contain no pesticides or other contaminants are a safer choice than regular CBD treats for dogs. Here’s how to choose a safe CBD dog treat brand:

  • Opt for high-quality, organic
  • Must use full-spectrum CBD
  • CBD dog treats from good brands are superfood infused natural supplements that provide optimal health benefits
  • Some CBD dog treat brands will specifically target a health problem in pets like joint pain or anxiety
  • Offered in tasty flavors that dogs can’t refuse
  • Uses CBD oil from organically grown hemp from the US
  • Uses virgin coconut oil-infused products for optimal pet health
  • No animal testing
  • Vegan
  • No synthetic ingredients
  • No artificial ingredients
  • No flavoring
  • Added turmeric, & Omega’s to enrich your dog’s well-being
  • Treats come in different sizes for all dog breeds 
  • Soft treats for senior dogs to allow for easier chewing
  • CBD treats with added CBD, CBDA, CBG & terpenes work well and maybe freeze-dried for maximum efficacy.
  • Opt for CO2 extracted full- spectrum hemp grown in the US only
  • Pet CBD treats use nanotechnology to remove all traces of THC from the formula for pet safety. (read and understand labeling)
  • Treats must be lab tested
  • Simple dosage charts/ explanations are a must. Consult with your veterinarian.

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Things to Keep In Mind While Traveling During COVID-19 With Your Dog

If you’re opting for international travel, consult with your veterinarian and your airlines to keep updated on all travel requirements during COVID-19. As of today, there’s no research indicating that pets can transmit COVID-19.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reassures all pet parents that are concerned about the transmission of COVID- 19 that “there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.”


Meet The Author 

Claudia Bensimoun

Canine Specialist & Writer

Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.

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