Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Vacation With Pets

By Caro Lamont, Laguna Beach Pet Therapist from Sparkle Abbey’s Pampered Pets mysteries.

Summer is upon us and if you’re traveling you may have to decide what you’re going to do with your furry family members. (And by that, I mean your pets, not cousin Larry who is also furry but not someone you'd choose to travel with.)

I’m mostly for taking along my three – Dogbert, my mixed breed rescue dog, and Thelma and Louise, my two cats. They travel well and anymore it’s pretty easy to check out which accommodations are pet-friendly. Here are a few sites that I’ve found useful. Trips with PetsGo Pet Friendly, and Pet Travel.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • If you haven’t traveled with your pet, it’s a good idea to do a short trial run to see how they tolerate being in the car for more than just a quick trip. 
  • Check with your veterinarian before you embark on a trip, just to make sure there aren’t any health issues. 
  • Take along something that’s familiar such as a blanket or toy. Something that smells like home will help to calm any anxiety. 
  • It you’re taking a road trip, don’t let your pet roam around the car. 
  • Also, plan frequent stops for both for bathroom breaks and to allow a little exercise. 
  • And make sure you have clear identification and contact info on their collar or tags. 

And I know you know this, but I have to give the reminder anyway, NEVER leave you dog or cat alone in the car. When it’s 85 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes and 120 degrees in just a half-hour. That’s even true with a window cracked a little.

There are also other options, like boarding your pet or hiring a pet-sitter. With both of these options, make sure you check them out thoroughly. Check with your local Better Business Bureau or ask for references and make sure to follow-up with former clients. It's important that you're leaving your pets in the hands of someone you trust.

So, what do you do when you travel. Do the pets stay home or come along? And what tips do you have either for traveling with pets, or for choosing a boarder/pet-sitter?

In Sparkle Abbey's latest, my cousin Melinda and her friend and employee, Betty Foxx, take their pets along on a "glamping" trip. You can check out how that worked out for them in RAIDERS OF THE LOST BARK.

Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). They are friends and neighbors as well as co-writers of the Pampered Pets Mystery Series. The pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue pets--Sparkle (Mary Lee's cat) and Abbey (Anita's dog).

If you want to make sure you're up on all the Sparkle Abbey news, stop by their website and sign up for updates at


  1. I had a dachshund, that has now passed, but she loved to travel. She was easy to travel with as well.

    1. Love dachshunds! We've never had one but have one that comes for visits and sometimes stays with us when his family is out of town. We learned a lot about dachshunds when we were researching The Girl with the Dachshund Tattoo. :-)

  2. Great advice! I've flown with a cat, and my husband has driven cross-country with a different one. How a pet responds depends very much on each individual animal. But we have an excellent petsitter at the moment, who not only comes by and feeds our three cats and cleans out their boxes, but also spends time playing with them (and leaves lots of cat toys!).

    1. Cats can be so self-sufficient that sometimes people forget that extra step of spending time playing with them. It's great that you have a petsitter that gets that!

  3. Thanks for the hints for traveling with pets.
    My dog does not like to ride in a car so he stays at the doggie hotel when we go on vacation.
    The book sounds like a fun read

    1. It's different from pet to pet. We have a great doggie hotel nearby. It even has one of those web cams so you can see what's going on. :-)

  4. thanks for the tips and information..i really appreciate it.. useful site

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  6. Its not uncommon for us animal lovers to offer our pets all the comforts of home and this includes the use of our furniture.