Traveling with Dogs, Cats & Family Pets

Information for Traveling with Pets

Did you know over 60% of snowbirds are traveling with pets, such as a family dog or another animal? These cute, cuddly, slobbering, barking, funny-faced, meowing, feathered, shedding, small and large behemoth’s, find a place in our hearts that can never be removed. I can attest, but from the time of my birth to the end of my day, my two dogs, Emmy and Vinny, make my family’s life better.

Just like my Snowbird friends, when we pack up and head south for the winter, or return to our northern roost, our loving dogs ride safely in the back of our SUV.

crossing the border with a dog

Essentials for travelling with dogs:

  • Dog Food
  • Foldable water bowls
  • Rubber mat placed in the back cargo area to help cushion the ride
  • Leashes and Collars with tags
  • Crates (properly secured)
  • Waste bags, extra paper towels.
  • Medication, since our dog Emmy gets motion sickness.
  • Vaccination records and vet clinic contacts.
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped just in case they escape during your travels.
  • Plenty of Dog breaks (there are plenty of rest stops which provide dog “poop and scoop” areas)
  • Dog Safety Car equipment can be purchased at PetValue and PetSmart.

Pet Health

Bring the dog food, they normally eat. Having a small container in the car is important. Changing the dog food can result in unwanted diarrhea. Veterinarians also agree an important consideration about taking your dog on a long tour is their physical condition. If your pet has any physical disability, talk to the doctor prior to leaving. Decisions and precautions can then be instituted.

essentials for traveling with dogs

Crossing the border into Canada or the USA with a Dog

Needless to say every dog must be up to date with rabies shots and other vaccinations when crossing the border. You should also have a letter from a veterinarian certifying your pet is in good health. Keep a copy of the vaccination records in your glove compartment.

Rules vary between some dog breeds and other pets such as birds, cats, horses, etc:

It is therefore recommended you check the following sites for rules and regulations:

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations;

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) importing requirements

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) rules related to Canada 

Pet friendly Hotels

One thing we all know is how hard it is to find a good pet friendly hotel. As a consideration, is a pretty good resource to help you find dog friendly accommodations.

Unfortunately we strongly recommend you call the hotel prior to booking. Some “pet friendly hotels” are more friendly and accommodating than others. We have found it is very important to call and confirm the hotel actually takes dogs. In addition, most hotels set limits on the size and breed of the dog, and there may be a limit to the number of dogs accepted. Sadly, the actual fee charged for the accommodation of our dogs is rarely provided on any website. With a doodle and a Husky/Pomeranian mix we have been surprised at the tremendous discrepancies and charges.

pet friendly hotels for snowbirds


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