To Grandmother's house we go!

Traveling to see friends and relatives at this time of year can put you and your pets in exciting new situations. Make sure those situations are safe and pleasant ones. Here are several things to keep in mind.

Clearly, the first thing you need is a solid “okay” from your host. The last thing anyone wants is to be greeted by a look of surprise as Buster runs into the house. Also consider any changes in your friend or relative’s household that may also affect your visit. These include things like a new baby and parents’ need to focus on their little one instead of your little one–or a remodel, where your host might prefer everything continue looking like new (and fur-less, for example) for a while longer.

Especially if there are other pets or small children in the household, give your pet some time to adjust without overwhelming him. Let him explore an empty room before meeting everyone.

Bring everything your pet will need over the course of the visit. This obviously includes enough food (and litter for cats), but also bedding, grooming items, carrier, etc. As always, be prepared with your vet’s phone number, and proof of vaccinations. Also carry a recent photo of your pet in case he goes missing, and be sure he’s wearing identification tags.

Keep the habits of your host in mind when you visit. Someone who doesn’t own an animal may not appreciate your cat exploring the kitchen. Ask questions so you’re very clear about the boundaries of where your pet can and cannot be.

Sharing vacation time with your entire family, Buster included, can be extremely rewarding. Preparing for new surroundings and being very host-conscious will make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Did you ever have an experience where your pet wasn't welcome as a guest? What did you do?

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