4 min read

6 Ways to Make Traveling Without Your Pet Easier


Written by Aurus Sy

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 07/12/2023, edited: 12/04/2023


Like any devoted pet parent, you may hate spending time away from your companion animal. You may often plan trips that include your furvorite animal pal, but sometimes, it’s neither possible nor practical to bring them with you. 

It’s not uncommon to feel guilt or worry when you have to leave your pet behind—in fact, a 2013 study found that 72% of people worry about their animals at least some of the time, while 24% worry during the majority or entirety of their trips. Some people even become so anxious about leaving their dog or cat at home that they stop traveling altogether, but it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Find out how you can feel better when traveling without your pet and enjoy the journey with the following easy tips! 

yellow Labrador Retriever with green plush soccer ball on couch

Let your pet’s comfort be your compass

If the thought of traveling without your dog or cat makes you feel bad, remember that not all destinations and experiences are appropriate for our companion animals. When planning your next trip, ask yourself if your furry friend would have fun if they tagged along. 

Would you be able to bring your pet to the places you’re going to visit, or will they have to spend all day cooped up in a hotel room? For example, are you going on a beach vacation, but your pooch isn’t a fan of the water? Or will you be doing a lot of walking tours, but your dog is elderly? In these cases, it may be better to leave your four-legged pal at home with a pet sitter where they will be most comfortable.

Plan ahead, way ahead

Don't wait till the last minute to plan for a trip without your pet! Call your pet sitter as soon as you’ve finalized your travel plans to ensure that your pet will receive the best care while you’re away. If you don’t have a trusted sitter yet, start looking for one a few months before your trip. This gives you enough time to explore your options and to set up a couple of meetings. It’s important that your cat or dog meets and becomes comfortable with their new caretaker before you leave. 

Pet sitting is especially recommended over traditional boarding kennels for pets with anxiety, as they get to stay in the environment that’s most familiar to them and not have to deal with strange sights, smells, and other animals. If you’re unable to find a pet sitter, home boarding is a good option too.

Related: How to Prepare Your Pets and Home for a Pet Sitter

woman petting Shiba Inu dog lying on bed

Stock up on pet essentials

Make sure your pet has enough food and supplies to last them while you’re away. While your sitter probably won’t mind running to the store to pick up some items if needed, it’s better to have everything ready before you leave. 

If your animal friend will be boarding at their caregiver’s home, don’t forget to pack their favorite things too. Having their own bed and toys will make them feel better, which will make you feel better and less worried as well.

Related: 9 Ways to Prepare Your Pup for a Dog Boarding Service

Leave detailed instructions for your pet sitter or boarder

Create a pet care guide to give to your sitter. Even if it’s not their first time taking care of your dog or cat, providing written instructions will make things easier for them and prevent any confusion, especially if you have multiple animals. Some items to include in your guide are:

  • When you’re leaving and when you’ll be back
  • Your pet’s daily routine, including feeding, medicating, walks, and other activities
  • Some information about your pet’s personality, including any quirks
  • Your mobile number and email address
  • The contact information of the place you’re staying 
  • Your vet’s name and phone number
  • A trusted friend or family member’s contact info, in case of an emergency
  • Where important items such as your pet’s food, medications, and cleaning supplies are kept
  • Mail run times, trash pickup days, and plant watering schedules, if they’ll be doing some light housekeeping for you

Take some time to go over the instructions with your sitter and give them a chance to ask questions.

man talking on cellphone while petting brown Pitbull

Check in daily

Let your pet sitter know how important regular communication is to you and that you would appreciate daily updates. Be clear about your expectations from the get-go, but also be considerate of your sitter’s time. Though they’re staying with your pet 24/7, avoid texting them outside regular work hours and take note of any time differences. If you booked your sitter on Wag!, there is an in-app chat that makes it easy to stay informed about what your four-legged friend is up to.

Look for souvenirs

Try to find toys and treats that aren’t available back home when you’re traveling. It may sound silly, but it’ll help you feel connected to your pet and ease your own separation anxiety. Plus imagine how happy your cat or dog will be when you return with new treats and toys from a faraway location!

Worrying about your furry pal when traveling without them is normal, but remember that doing so won’t do either of you any good. Be sure to follow the above tips for a stress-free trip!

Got more questions on how to keep your pet's time away from you stress-free? Chat with a veterinary professional to get the lowdown on animal behavior, health tips and more!

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

Your name




Add photo(s) of your petoptional