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The cost of taking your pet on vacation
Published Friday, June 7, 2019 6:00AM PDT Last Updated Friday, June 7, 2019 7:08PM PDT
If you’re a pet owner, it’s no secret that leaving your dog or cat home with a sitter or in a kennel is a pricy addition to your vacation costs. And if you decide to bring your four-legged friend along, it doesn’t mean it will be cheaper. But there are some things to keep in mind to help you save money and aggravation when you travel with your pet.
For starters, get prepared ahead of time.
“Make sure your pooch is ready to fly by getting a health certificate from your veterinarian, including vaccinations, so you can show it to the airline and anywhere else it might be required,” advised Donna Rosato, Consumer Reports money editor.
And if your pet doesn’t already have a microchip, get one.
If you’re travelling by train on VIA Rail or Amtrak you’ll have to pay up to $50 per direction to take your pet on board.
Airlines usually charge between $50 to $125 one way to fly with a small dog in the cabin.
“And since your pet carrier will count as a carry-on, you may need to pay to check your suitcase. And a travel-compliant carrier can cost you $35 to more than $100,” Rosato said.
Also, reserve a spot for your pet ahead of time on the train or airline.
“They allow only a certain number of pets to ride under a seat,” warned Rosato.
Larger dogs often need to fly in the cargo hold, and that can cost anywhere from $100 to over $300 each way.
Many airlines don’t allow snub-nosed breeds like French bulldogs to fly at all because they can have difficulty breathing at high altitudes.
And while some hotels will let your pets stay for free, many charge a fee from $20 to $100 per night.
If you need a little more space, check off the pet-friendly filter on Airbnb and Home Away to find rentals that will let you bring your pets, often for a fee.
If your pooch is going on a road trip, a lot of car-rental companies won’t charge extra for pets. Still, Consumer Reports says don’t forget about car safety. In an accident, pets can become projectiles if they’re not secured, injuring themselves and possibly other people in the car.