Just like humans, some pets make great travel buddies while others do not. You have to understand if your pet is up for traveling by considering his temperament and other things. We do not suggest traveling with a pet who is ill or has any physical impairments.
You should consider talking to a veterinarian if you were not sure if your pet is well suited for travel. However, if you conclude that your pet is up for the trip then read through this piece to gather more information about safe pet travel and to ensure that your pets enjoy the trip as much as you would.
Traveling with your pet can be a great bonding experience or a not-so-pleasant one. It all depends on how you plan and prepare for the trip. After deciding on the place and the mode of travel you need to plan the entire trip accordingly. A lot of planning goes into this as well. These include-
Id Tag- Get your pet an Id tag with his name, your hotel address, and your contact number on it. It is important to put an id tag on your pet while traveling as it is one of the ways he can be found in case he gets lost. Id tags come in different designs and colors. While serving an important purpose, it can be a cool accessory for your pet as well.
Visiting the Vet- Before you leave, you must visit your vet and ensure that your pet is in perfect health to go for the trip. You should get all the necessary medications that your pet might need for the time you will be away.
You should also find out if there are any concerns about the place you are visiting. If you are traveling to some remote area where many vets are not available, research previously and take down the contact number and address of a local vet.
Carrier- Many hotels require you to kennel your pet if you are heading out without him. If you are traveling by air make sure your carrier is airline approved. It is always good to introduce a new carrier to your pet at home and not on the trip that way they can get more used to it.
You should make sure that there is enough space in the carrier or crate for your pet to lie down, turn around, sit and stand. Trust me on this, the last thing your pet needs on a trip is a small crate.
Pet Food- Carry the usual amount of pet food that your pet would normally need. We do not recommend changing the diet of your pet during traveling or before that as it can cause digestion problems or diarrhea. Make sure that your pet is well-fed and on the same diet. You should not overfeed your pet while traveling.
Accessories- A trip is supposed to be a fun time for your pet so do not forget to pack in his favorite toys. Apart from that, carry his regular food and water bowls. Also, purchase a few outdoor water bottles that will make it easier to make them drink water on a long trip. You must always see to it that your pet is well hydrated.
Documents- If you are traveling to some other country, check what are the kinds of vaccinations your pet might require. Carry all of his up-to-date documents and vaccination records with yourself. You can also take pictures of your pet's medical history and save them on your phone.
Local pet laws- Do your research on the local pet laws to check if your pet will be welcomed in the area.
Pet-Friendly Hotel- Do your research previously and book a hotel that is pet-friendly and well-rated. There are not many pet-friendly hotels nearby and roaming around with a pet looking for a place to stay can be very stressful so it is always best to pre-book a hotel.
While booking the hotel, go through their pet policies and read them carefully. You should always try to abide by their policies as much as possible if you do not want to pay hefty fines.
First Aid Kit- You should carry an animal first aid kit and learn how to use it. This way, you can be well prepared if your pet accidentally injures itself.
Poop Scoops- Carry litter boxes and poop scoops so that you can clean up after your pet.
If you are traveling by air, if possible, try to take a direct flight to the destination to reduce the amount of handling. Check your airline pet travel policies in detail and follow their instructions or else you could be in trouble. Buy a crate that is approved by the airline and large enough for your pet to sit, stand and turn.
Some flights allow small pets to travel in a cabin accompanied by an adult. Flights only allow a fixed number of pets to travel at a time so try to contact them as soon as possible and reserve a spot for your little one.
If your travel plans are flexible then opt for a mid-week flight as they are comparatively less crowded. If you are worried about your pet being anxious mid-flight then consult your vet for advice.
If you are flying your pet in cargo, make sure the crate is properly labeled as a live animal. Cargo travel is not at all recommended if it is too hot or too cold. Although cargos are temperature controlled, loading and unloading take time and the pets can be exposed to the heat for a long time.
Some airlines do not fly animals in cargo at all so it is necessary to check with your airline to confirm if your pet is allowed to travel. A separate booking is required for pets flying in cargo.
Before taking a trip by car, you should make your pet familiar with the car. Once your pet is comfortable in the car, you can drive him to the parks. This will create a positive thought process in your pet and soon it will start associating fun with car rides. As your pet becomes more used to car travel, you can increase the duration of your drives.
You can invest in a good car seat cover that is easy to clean, a good pet car seat, a travel crate, and a seat belt leash. Preventing your pet from wandering freely around the car will not only keep them safe but will reduce distraction for the driver as well.
You should never let your pet sit on your lap while driving. A travel crate is a great option, as it provides extra protection in the event of a crash. Make pit stops every 2 or 3 hours for bathroom breaks and exercise. Remember to keep them hydrated throughout.
On hot summer days, a car can become a furnace in no time, and even with the windows open, your pet can be at the risk of having a heat stroke. Hence, it is important not to leave your pet unattended.