Boarding your pet can be hella expensive and having a pet sitter is barely any cheaper. Also, who likes having some rando come over to your house while you are gone? I have three cats and they go with me (almost) everywhere. Traveling with pets can be much more affordable and safe option if you take the proper steps!
A year after I adopted my second rescue cat, she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune deficiency. I didn’t trust pet-sitters or boarders to regulate her meds when I was visiting my parents several states away, so I decided to start traveling with my cats. I should note, my first cat is a great traveler and is quite happy being hooked into the front seat in her harness. But, I didn’t get that lucky with the other two furballs. Doesn’t that age old saying go, “If you had your second child first, you wouldn’t have had a second, right?” KIDDING 😉
Boarding in my area costs about $25 a night per pet and pet sitters charge around $15 per 30 minute visit. To board three cats for 4 nights, I’d be dropping $300 per trip. For two daily visits of a pet sitter (remember – special needs cats on meds!) for the same length of time, I’d be shelling out almost $400! I invested just around $100 in a few key essentials to keep my fur babies safe and happy while traveling. That’s $300 less than I would have paid the pet sitter for ONE trip! #Frugalwin
So before going on a 7 hour drive, I did what I do best. (Or what my other-half says I do too much!) I researched the hell out of the best ways to travel with pets! Below are the items I equipped myself with:
- A soft-sided dog crate big enough to fit a litter box inside. That one is super sturdy and my cats haven’t been able to scratch it open.
- A travel litter box and scoop
- This cat hammock to give them room to get away from each other
- Feliway Calming Travel Spray and Rescue Remedy for Pets for my more anxious felines
Of course, I also pack their food, bowls, toys, litter, and medicines. But for just around $100, I was travel ready with my three little lions!
Dog owners have it a bit easier! I love all animals so I don’t want to leave you dog parents out! To travel with your pup, you can go as simple as a seatbelt hook and harness (that’s how my sister’s french bulldog travels!). Or for bigger dogs, I recommend a car gate. I’d love to know what other dog owners use to make their travels easier!
After a few years of traveling with pets, I splurged a bit and bought a pet bed/carrier combo to give the kittens a soft bed to cuddle up in while away from home and make vet visits more comfortable! This thing is absolutely amazing and less than half the price of those uber-fancy travel beds. It came in super handy when one of my cats wanted got a little too excited while traveling and was annoying the hell out of the other two. Also, it’s great for small dogs too!
Safe and happy travels everyone!
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