Traveling can be enough of a challenging situation on your own, but when you add kids and friends into the mix it becomes a logistical nightmare. The additional fees, the scramble to carry everything in the airport, and delayed flights can put everyone in a bad mood.
Now, add a dog to the situation and things get even more complicated and potentially messy. There are many great aspects to pet ownership, but if you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll have to think twice about adopting a canine.
There may be more reasons not to get a dog than to adopt one, so you’d better make sure you’re in the right camp. Reasons not to get a dog include financial constraints, nobody at home for long stretches of time and, of course, when someone in the house has allergies.
Any pet adoption is a big deal and should only be undertaken after careful consideration. If you’re a frequent traveler, your lifestyle is probably not going to mesh with owning a dog.
A real fleabag motel
Have you ever stayed in a hotel or cottage that was “pet friendly”? While there are exceptions, many times these rooms don’t seem very clean because there have been dozens of furry guests before you arrived.
Even finding a hotel that takes pets can be a challenge, and you’ll pay a premium for bringing such a “luxury.” You might miss out on some resorts you’ve been dying to experience, or conveniences such as free Wi-Fi or a hot complimentary breakfast.
Of course, booking a hotel is often the last piece of the traveling process; you have to get there first. Different airlines have different fees and procedures for bringing a pet on board.
Unfortunately, unless you own a falcon (a prestigious bird that carries its own passport), you’re going to have to deal with kenneling your pet and even stowing him or her away with the rest of your luggage. This isn’t just time-consuming and expensive, but also potentially traumatic for your pet. Sometimes it’s even fatal.
Sticking to solid ground
If you don’t often fly, but depend on public transportation or a good, old-fashioned road trip when you travel, you’re not in a much better place. When’s the last time you spent eight hours on the road with a bored dog who may get carsick or lose control of the bladder in the backseat?
Traveling on buses or trains with a pet is challenging as well; some companies won’t even allow it. What you imagined as a carefree ride, reading a favorite book, is suddenly consumed with making sure your pet is safe and secure.
Traveling with an animal can pose a huge inconvenience, but even worse is that it’s incredibly taxing on your pet. The most upsetting can be when you travel and/or move overseas and your furry companion is placed in quarantine for several months, where he or she feels feels abandoned and confused.
If you know you travel a lot, it’s unfair to count on the constant use of a dog sitter or pet hotel because they don’t take the place of a loving owner. Instead, be realistic about your level of travel and adopt — or don’t — accordingly.
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