Traveling with your pet can be fun and adventurous if you take the time to plan before you hit the road or take to the friendly skies. It is wise to consider your pet in regards to their health, age, temperament, and their general travel disposition. Does your pet enjoy riding in the car or do they experience high levels of anxiety? Do they have arthritis and find it difficult to sit for long periods of time?
If you assess your pet and decide that traveling with your pet would just be too much for them, or if your veterinarian recommends against it, there is no harm in getting a pet sitter or locating a safe place for boarding. The goal is to make the experience as pleasant as possible for you and your pet. Click here, for some ways to make it easier on your dog when you go out of town.
If you are up for traveling with your pet, then you will also want to make sure that there are pet-friendly hotels along your journey and at your final destination.
Mode of Transport When Traveling With Your Pet
The first step to planning your journey is to think about how you will be traveling with your pet. The mode of transport, either by plane or car, will determine the kind of pet carrier you will want to use.
Hitting the Road requires a bit of preparation, but can be fun and safe for your faithful, furry, four-legged companions. While traveling with your pet, it is paramount to ensure your pet’s safety. Keep them in a well-ventilated carrier or restrained in the back seat with a harness attached to a seatbelt. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in comfortably.
Your pet should never be allowed to ride unrestrained with their head outside the window. They may be injured due to flying debris. Allow for plenty of pit-stops, and keep water and a bowl handy, so your faithful friend doesn’t become dehydrated.
Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle either on a hot day or in cold weather. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become dangerously hot in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car acts as a refrigerator, holding in the cold, and may lead to hypothermia in your pet.
Flying the Friendly Skies can be successful if you know the regulations imposed by the airlines. Your pet may ride under the seat in front of you if they are small enough to fit in a properly sized pet carrier that meets carry-on specifications for the airline.
If you don’t already own a carrier or crate that is USDA-approved, then you will need to purchase one. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably, and lined with some type of bedding or material to absorb accidents. It should be well-ventilated and marked with a “Live Animal” sticker along with your name, cell phone number, and destination phone number. Also, include a photo of your pet.
Book a direct flight on the same plane as you. Purchase your tickets at the same time. Don’t fly when the temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Traveling with your pet requires a bit of preparation on your part, but it will be well worth it as you journey to your destination.
Pack your Pet’s Suitcase just as you would pack for yourself! I have enough trouble packing my own suitcase, so this could be a downside for me as I think about traveling with my pet.
Some of the essentials include food bowl and water bowl, medications and medical records, bedding, collar with current tags, a leash, grooming supplies, a current photo of your pet, favorite toys, a sturdy and well-ventilated carrier, litter, and a litter box (for cats). Moreover, a pet First Aid kit should be a part of your travel essentials.
Visit the Vet prior to Your Journey to ensure your pet is healthy enough to travel and they are current on their vaccinations. You want to make sure that you have a sufficient supply of any medications your pet may need during the trip. Get copies of any required travel documents (contact the airlines for specific requirements).
Traveling with your pet can be stressful for them, especially if they suffer from arthritis, a heart condition, or are naturally high strung. Ask your veterinarian if he or she can prescribe medication to reduce anxiety or travel sickness in your pet. It is a good idea to test them on your pet a few days before the trip to ensure that they don’t have any adverse reactions to the medication (nothing will ruin a trip faster than vomit or diarrhea).
Traveling with your pet simply requires a bit of research and preparation. The goal is to bring your faithful companion with you in a healthy and safe manner. Once you know what to pack, what to expect, and what to do each step of the way, there is no stopping you!