Traveling With Pets: Dog & Cat Travel Guide

February 16, 2024

Discover our comprehensive guide for traveling with pets, focusing on dogs and cats. It covers preparation steps like checking pet policies and packing essentials, tips for maintaining cleanliness and respecting the property during the stay, and advice on ensuring pet safety and comfort. The post emphasizes the importance of considering pets as part of the family during travel and offers insights into Summer's expertise in pet-friendly accommodations

Traveling with your pet in tow requires thoughtful preparation, especially when your travel plans include dogs and cats. Those new to pet ownership or new to facilitating trips with their furry friends may be unaware of key steps and advance preparation to consider so your travel plans can go as smoothly as possible. Some often overlooked steps, such as ensuring you have a valid health certificate for your furry companion as many pet-friendly hotels and short-term rentals require this type of documentation, can often be forgotten when preparing for your next trip.

Additionally, quality supplies such as a sturdy pet carrier is indispensable for safe travels, whether you're embarking on long road trips or considering your pet traveling in cargo for flights. For those with a service animal, it's crucial to have the necessary accreditation to avoid any hitches. As you plan, factor in pit stops for your pet to stretch and relieve themselves, making the journey more comfortable for them. Be mindful of pet fees when booking accommodations, and ensure your credit card is ready to cover these extra charges. By choosing accommodations that welcome pets and planning ahead, you can ensure a smooth experience for you and your four-legged friend. Below we explore in detail, they key steps to take 

Traveling with pets: preparation guide

At Summer, providing excellent and seamless customer service for our short term guests is always top of mind, especially when that transcends to welcoming our guests’ furry-friends as well. Our vacation rental experts and fellow pet owners at Summer have compiled a list of tips that every pet owner should consider when accommodating their furry friend in future travel plans. To learn more about Summer and our innovative short term rental management and vacation home ownership solutions, click here.

Check the pet policy. Before booking an Airbnb, carefully review the listing's pet policy. Some hosts may have specific rules or restrictions regarding pets, such as size limits or additional fees. Ensure that the listing is pet-friendly and aligns with your pet's needs. If possible, find an explicitly pet-friendly rental that provides bowls, beds, and maybe even some snacks; you'll feel much more comfortable knowing that your host has had other four-legged guests before!

Communicate with the host. Reach out to the host before booking to discuss your plans to bring your pet. Clarify any questions you may have regarding the accommodations or specific pet-related amenities, like a fenced-in yard or a nearby park. While some accommodations may charge and extra fee for pets. Please understand that extra cleaning and care is required ensure that future guests are not impacted after your pets stay.

Provide accurate information. Provide accurate details about your furry companion, including its size and demeanor. This information will help the host understand your needs better and make necessary arrangements to make your stay as stress-free as possible.

Pack for your pet. Just like you pack a bag for yourself when you go on vacation, you'll need to pack for your dogs and cats as well. Having familiar items from home will help keep your pet comfortable and make them feel more at ease in a new environment. This might include things like their food and water bowls (if your host does not provide this), leash and collar, a few favorite toys, and any medications they need. If you're traveling by car, consider bringing a bed or blanket for them to lay on during the journey.

During your stay

Maintain cleanliness. If you have a dog, ensure it is clean and groomed before arriving at the Airbnb. For cats, shedding can also become a problem. Clean up after your pet both indoors and outdoors, disposing of waste responsibly. If your pet sheds excessively, use a brush or lint-roller to minimize hair on furniture or bedding; you want to make sure that the post-checkout housekeeping isn't extraordinarily involved or costly for your host, so that pets continue to be welcomed companions for their future guests.

Respect the property. Take extra care to ensure that your pet does not cause any damage to the Airbnb. Avoid allowing your dog on furniture or beds if it's explicitly against the host's rules; you may even want to use blankets or towels to prevent any accidents or messes, as well as to avoid any additional fees post-checkout. Ensure nails of dogs and cats are trimmed and filed as well, free of sharp or pointy angles that can make permanent damage to furniture. For Cats, its especially important to have a backup plan for those who frequently sharpen their claws on household objects. Consider portable scratching posts or favorite toys to redirect the cats attention. 

Supervise your pet. Keep a close eye on your pet at all times while inside the Airbnb. Monitor their behavior to prevent any potential damage or disturbance, and remember that your furry friend may feel too unsure in their new environment to be left along for extended periods of time. Cats especially can be uneasy in new environments, so keeping them in small, comfortable spaces, beds, or access to cozy travel crates will be appreciated. For dogs, respect the privacy and peace of any neighboring properties by keeping your pup's barking or noise level in-check, especially during any specified designated quiet hours.

Exercise and bathroom breaks. Plan regular exercise and bathroom breaks for your dog. Research nearby parks, trails, or designated dog-friendly areas where you can take your dog for walks or play, and, of course, always follow local leash-laws and clean up after your dog! For cats, portable litter boxes are key. Many options exist, from large disposable plastic trays, to cleanable portable travel litter boxes. Placing this litter box on hardwood floors, cement or tile will ensure easy cleanup for any displaced litter. Just remember to make this litter box accessible and easy to find, and show and place the cat inside the box at the start of the trip so they are aware of the box, preventing accidents elsewhere in the house.

Keep your pet safe. While you're on vacation, it's important to keep your pet safe at all times. This might mean using a crate or carrier when you're traveling, keeping them on a leash in public places, and making sure they don't have access to anything that could be harmful. Be sure to keep your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations and consider getting them microchipped before you go on your trip. Also be aware of the natural surroundings in the new environment. Especially in remote rentals, Coyotes, bears, racoons, and skunks make be sharing the backyard. 

Make sure your pet is comfortable. Lastly, it's important to make sure your pet is comfortable throughout your vacation; at the end of the day, it's their vacation too and they deserve some R&R! This might mean finding a quiet space for them to rest when they need a break, making sure they have access to plenty of water, and avoiding activities or experiences that might be stressful for them. Pay attention to your pet's behavior and adjust your plans as needed to make sure they're happy and healthy.

‍Summer’s expertise in pet-friendly accommodations

At Summer, our experience in the short term rental market is defined by our unwavering commitment to going above and beyond for our guests. We understand that the essence of a memorable stay lies in the details, and our approach is tailored to exceed expectations at every turn. Understanding our guests means understanding that their furry-friends are also apart of their family and essential to a memorable getaway. Our experienced team leverages their extensive expertise to ensure that every aspect of a guest's stay is seamless, from initial online booking to the final farewell which also includes accommodating cats and dogs. We prioritize effective and empathetic guest communications, ensuring that guests receive all the information they need, promptly and courteously. Our dedication to creating exceptional experiences for our short term rental guests is more than a service; it's a commitment to excellence that defines every interaction and every stay with Summer. Click here to explore Summer's stunning pet-friendly homes.

About Summer

Summer offers innovative solutions to revolutionize the vacation rental landscape for both property owners and guests. Our focus is on elevating short-term rental performance by creating inviting spaces and memorable experiences that drive positive feedback and repeat visits. Schedule a complimentary consultation with us to uncover how Summer can turn your short-term rental into a premier destination. Click here to book a free consultation

Beyond enhancing rental performance and guest satisfaction, Summer stands out in its attentive approach to property management. We also offer versatile, cost-effective financing solutions and imaginative design options to assist property owners in both renovations and effective cash flow management. Our solutions work to empower property owners with seamless, affordable pathways to make impactful changes proven to transform vacation homes into top performing listings. Visit to learn more. 

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