Challenges and Joys of Travel with Pets

Traveling the world can be a complicated exercise. There are flight bookings to make, passport and visa expiry dates to keep track of, cheap accommodation and house-sits to secure plus keeping the kids happy through loads of different locations and food experiences.

So it blows my mind that some people choose to add a pet into the equation!  I started thinking about this the other day when I was looking at some dog friendly cottages in Wales.

I mean, c’mon! Imagine all the extra things you have to worry about when you bring your pet traveling. After a bit of thought here are my 5 reasonsI think it might be harder to travel with pets:
  • Pets can’t tell you when they want to stay at the beach for another hour! The kids let us know if they want to stay and swim for a bit longer. Or if they’ve had enough and it’s time to go home. A pet can’t tell you when he’s had enough (except to bite I guess!) Then again, a tired dog will just curl up and go to sleep. He won’t squeal and complain like a tired kid!
  • When a pet is sick they can’t tell you where it hurts. Pets do get sick and being away from your regular vet clinic can be a problem if the illness is serious. The costs to see a vet can really add up too. If you’re crazy enough to travel with a pet you better have pet insurance!
  • Pets can be an added travel expense, especially if you are flying. Special transport containers can be needed for some pets to go in an aeroplane. Pets need their own vaccinations and sometimes they even need to spend time in quarantine! So far we haven’t had to leave any of our kids in quarantine!
  • Pets stink! Besides the regular furry smells that lots of pets have, some pets have interesting wind problems that can make an appearance at any time. Imagine you’re on a bus with your dog and suddenly there’s an awful smell! You might get the blame! On a bright note, if it really was you then you have the fabulous option of blaming the dog! Kids never let you blame them.
  • Some pets have questionable toilet habits! Kids can toddle off to the bathroom in the middle of the night when nature calls. If a pet tries to alert you in the middle of the night and you sleep through the notification, you might just find a present on the floor in the morning!
And those 5 reasons don’t even begin to touch on what happens if you come across a dog lover like the one in this story. He says babies on a plane are way worse than dogs and has tips for taking your dog to the bathroom in an airport!

Now for the joys, and there are plenty of those too.
  • Pets are a constant source of happiness.  They can bring stress levels down, provide companionship and in my opinion life is just happier having them.  Having a dog or a cat is one thing we miss greatly when we travel.
  • Dogs in particular will bring you a sense of protection.  Whether that is just the presence or the barking to alert you something is amiss, you may be glad you have them.
  • It can force you to get out and get exercise by walking them several times a day.  This can even lead to meeting interesting people along the way as a dog is a great conversation starter.

What do you think?  Travel with kids or dogs, which is tougher or easier?

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