More than 65 percent of American households own a pet, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. When making vacation plans, the option of boarding pets or paying for pet care must be weighed against taking our furry friends along for the ride. Although traveling with pets might be a more cost-friendly alternative, pet owners should know what's in store.
Whether traveling by plane, train or automobile, there are online and print resources to assist with preparations for traveling with pets. Major airlines provide pet travel information at their websites with specifics on required immunizations and paperwork. Websites abound with pet-friendly hotels and lodging. Dogfriendly.com contains a wealth of useful information about pet-friendly beaches and restaurants, dog parks, camping, travel books and more. Additional content includes breed specific laws, pet-friendly car rentals, road trip preparation, etiquette for dogs (with a special section for beach etiquette), emergency veterinarians and even smartphone apps for on-the-go information.
Before planning a trip with your fine, furry friend check out these books available through the Beaufort County Library's SCLENDS catalog. These educational and often entertaining resources may be just the ticket for a successful vacation enjoyed by all:
"Vacationing with Your Pet," by Eileen Barish
More than 25,000 accommodations can be found in this award-winning directory. Lodgings are listed alphabetically by state and city with contact information and rates. Introductory information covers lodging guidelines, whether a dog can be left alone in the room, cat travel and most importantly, determining whether your pet is vacation friendly.
"AAA Traveling with Your Pet," by American Automobile Association
This helpful directory lists contact information for more than 14,000 pet-friendly, AAA approved hotels and campgrounds across the U.S. and Canada. Tips on traveling with pets along with lists of dog parks and emergency animal clinics arranged by state add to this essential directory.
"No Pet Left Behind: The Sherpa Guide to Traveling with Your Best Friend," by Gayle Martz
This guide covers the dos and don'ts of car, taxi, subway, plane and bus travel for just about every sort of pet imaginable. Checklists for domestic and international travel help the pet owner to be prepared should their pet get lost or sick. Pet owners will appreciate the section on training your pet for travel.
DogFriendly.com's East Coast Dog Travel Guide
This is the print companion to the online website Dog Friendly.com, and includes travel through New England, New York, the Mid-Atlantic States, Florida and the Southeast. Check out the Top 200 "Must See" places that welcome dogs -- "places to stay, sights to see, eateries to dine at, and trails to hike."
"Canine Adventures: Fun Things to Do with Your Dog," by Cynthia D. Miller
Want to have fun with your dog? Explore 34 recreational sports, from agility and mountain biking to flyball and herding. Each activity is rated by cost, training and time commitment and tells which breeds are most likely to enjoy each activity. A resource guide includes organizations and clubs that promote dog sports and skill training.
Francesca Denton is the reference manager at the Beaufort library.