How to Vacation With Your Pet

Shopping with your Pet

So it's the day after Thanksgiving and you don't want to miss out on th­e great sales, but you also don't want to leave your faithful pet behind. Don't fret. Most malls and shopping centers don't have a problem with you bringing an animal along, as long as it's small enough. In fact, it usually has to be carried by hand or in some sort of carrier [source: LA Times].

If your pet fits into a carrier that's not much bigger than a large purse, chances are nobody's going to give you any problems about carrying it around with you. On the other hand, if you own an animal that's any bigger than a small child, you'll need to leave it at home or in a kennel.

The exception to this rule is outdoor shopping centers. If you live near a mall that isn't completely enclosed, you can usually bring a pet of any size along. You may have to leave it tied up outside certain stores, but many of them are more than happy to have you peruse deals with your pup or cat by your side.

As always, the main concern is that you clean up after your pet. If you let your animal defecate in the middle of Macy's, don't expect an invitation back for VIP sales. It's always a good idea to keep a supply of plastic bags handy. And always, always, always keep an eye on your pet. There's no excuse for letting your animal hurt another patron.

It's also important to keep your pet comfortable throughout the day. If you're planning an all-day shopping excursion, remember to bring food or a snack for your pet and water to keep it hydrated.

It's always a safe bet to call ahead and make sure your pet is welcome. You wouldn't want to drive all the way to the mall only to be turned away by a security guard. Be respectful of the other shoppers and you shouldn't have a problem.