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March 20, 2012

Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook

If you travel regularly with your pet or if you are planning a long road trip with your pet, the “AAA Traveling with Your Pet” might be a helpful book. Twelve of the 700 pages are dedicated to providing you with tips on traveling with your pet while most of the other pages are dedicated to giving you information on US pet-friendly lodgings.

The 12 pages of tips for traveling with your pet include topics such as should your pet travel, preparing your pet for travel, traveling by car, traveling by air, in case of emergency, outdoors, traveling in the US and Canada, and traveling internationally with your pet. There is a good check list for what to take when traveling with your pet but it surprisingly does not include a dog car harness. It does mention a crate, which is also safe for your dog (safer if the crate is strapped in).

The section on traveling by car is a bit more informative. It does mention a dog car harness. It also gives you tips on how to train your dog to ride in the car and advises that your dog should not be left alone in a parked car, should not be allowed to hang their head out the window in a moving car, that you should stop ever two hours for your pet, and more.

The in case of emergency section is very small. It tells you to keep an emergency pet hospital number handy. There is another small section which indicates prevention, symptoms, and first aid for heatstroke and hypothermia. But while “AAA Traveling with Your Pet” does state that you should travel with a first aid kit, it does not give much first aid advice. All-in-all, these 12 pages are very skimpy and not as informative as they could be.

The other 600+ pages are dedicated to pet-friendly places and lodgings. The US pet-friendly lodgings section is the largest (almost 550 pages). We have read reviews online which says this list is not very comprehensive. I can imagine that it would be very difficult to contact every single hotel and inn in the United States to verify if they allow pets. And I can imagine that many hotels could easily change their policies and possibly go out of business. The edition of “AAA Traveling with Your Pet” that I have is the 13th edition. It currently lists more than 13,000 pet-friendly AAA approved hotels and campgrounds. Tomorrow it could have more, or possibly even less.

If you travel regularly and are a AAA member who loves to get AAA discounts, this book can be very helpful. If you are not a AAA member but still travel regularly, this book might be helpful. But if you are just making one trip with your pet, this book is probably not worth the while. It is easy to find pet-friendly lodgings online. Pick a hotel and call them in advance to make sure they are not booked and that they allow pets. It will be much easier than trying to search the book when you are already on the road.

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