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Fifty-six percent of Canadians planned to travel in 2023—and there’s a good chance that many of them took a furry friend along. There are many reasons you might want to bring your dog or cat along with you on your next trip, such as wanting companionship, needing help managing anxiety, wanting to snag great Instagram pics (like Bodhi) or simply not wanting to leave your pet behind. 

However, as Lauren Gumport, VP of communications at Faye Travel Insurance, explains, it is important that you act responsibly when taking your pet with you on a trip. Accommodating your best furry friend’s needs will ensure a more pleasant and enjoyable trip for everyone.


Consider transportation requirements and comfort

The first thing Gumport advises is figuring out transportation. “Whether you’re going on a road trip or taking a flight, travelling with pets can be tricky,” she says. “First, you need to make sure that you’re adhering to all applicable regulations for keeping your pet safe, such as crate requirements for travelling with your pet on a plane. Not complying with these regulations could keep you from being able to board your flight. Check with your airline, car-rental company and any other transportation you’re planning to use so you know what’s required.”

Aside from knowing the rules for transporting your pet, you should also take steps to ensure their trip is as comfortable as possible. Direct, shorter flights tend to be best for pets, particularly since many pets experience stress and anxiety during air travel. You can help alleviate your pet’s stress and upset stomach by providing blankets, treats and toys to make them feel comfortable during their trip.


Add pet coverage to your travel insurance

Approximately 38 percent of travellers buy travel insurance to protect their trip in case of issues like unexpected cancellations, medical emergencies or other disruptions. You also have options if you’re planning to bring along Fido—Gumport recommends adding pet coverage to your travel-insurance policy. (Many providers offer this as an add-on.)

“Pet-care add-ons can be quite robust, providing coverage for veterinary expenses for sickness or injury while you are travelling together,” she explains. “Travel means exposing your pet to new places, foods and experiences—and sometimes those things can come together to cause illness or injury. A pet-care add-on to your travel insurance enables you to seek care and get reimbursed on covered circumstances, so you can have peace of mind and not worry about wild costs if things do go south.”

It’s worth noting that pet-care add-ons may also cover kennelling costs when you don’t take your pet on your trip and unexpected delays require your pet to stay at a doggy-care facility longer than anticipated. The extra layer of protection provided by pet coverage can give you much-needed reassurance regardless of whether or not you travel with your pet.

“I myself have landed in Europe with my pup only to need to go to a vet the next day due to an eye infection she got on the flight,” says Gumport. “I filed my claim via the Faye app in minutes and got reimbursed within a couple of business days.”

Choose the right pet-friendly accommodations

The large number of travellers who take their pets with them has led to a surge in places that offer pet-friendly accommodation. As Gumport explains, however, even when looking at pet-friendly accommodation, you should always do your research before making a reservation.

“Many pet-friendly accommodations still have limitations on the type of pets you can bring along,” she says. “For example, you might be limited to dogs under a certain weight or cats might not be allowed at all due to the high number of people who have cat allergies. And many places limit the number of pets you can bring along. Always double-check.”

While many pet-friendly accommodations will typically charge higher cleaning fees if you bring your furry friend, some will offer pet items and other helpful amenities to make your trip even easier. It’s also a good idea to check your accommodation’s damages policy, as even the best of pets can damage furniture, rugs or other areas. Vacation Rental Damage Protection, often offered for purchase when buying travel insurance, could help prevent such incidents from driving up your travel costs.


Pack your pet essentials

Finally, pet owners should be sure to make a list of all the things their pets might need for their trip. “Just like you have your own packing list, you’ll need to make a checklist for pet essentials,” says Gumport. “Things like identification and vaccination documents, medications, a leash or harness, crate or carrier, bedding, toys, treats and bathroom bags and pads are all absolute musts. Depending on where and how you’re travelling, you’ll likely want to pack water and food as well. Basically, think of all the things your pet needs for daily living at home and make sure you’ll be able to provide them while you’re away.”

For convenience, consider packing all of your pet’s items in a separate bag. This will make it easier to keep everything organized during your trip—particularly if you need to locate items quickly during an emergency.


Travel fun for all

With responsible planning, you can feel confident bringing your pet along for your next travel adventure. You can enjoy time together and create amazing memories without any of the stress that can arise when you aren’t prepared.


KO Media newsroom and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.