If you own a pet, you’ve probably taken him in the car to go to the vet or the groomer. However, traveling with a pet for a long distance is quite different.
Whether you’re moving across the country or you’re planning on booking a fun dog-friendly vacation, it’s important to learn how to keep your furry friend safe and calm while you’re on your way to and from your destination.
Here are six of the most important things you need to know about traveling with a dog or a cat.
1. Check With Your Vet Before Traveling With a Pet
Before traveling with a cat or dog, it’s always a good idea to make sure they’re completely healthy. A quick trip to the vet can put your mind at ease.
If you’re not sure how to travel with a dog or a cat, ask your vet for some advice.
While you’re there, you can get your pet a check-up, get a copy of his vaccination records, and make sure he’s microchipped. Even if your pet already has a microchip, it’s a good idea to have the vet scan it to make sure it hasn’t shifted and double-check the registration information.
If you’re worried that your pet might have anxiety while traveling, you can also ask the vet if medication makes sense.
Remember that most airlines will require a recent health certificate from your vet, so now is the time to get your paperwork in order now.
2. Keep Your Pet Safe and Secure
When learning how to travel with a pet, security is one of the most important factors. Being in unfamiliar environments can make your pet more inclined to run away.
Keep your pet’s collar and tags on at all times, and make sure he’s always under your control. This means you absolutely must keep your dog on a leash all the time, even if he’s well-behaved.
It’s also a great idea to keep a recent photo of your pet with you. This will help if he happens to get lost.
3. Always Use a Carrier
You wouldn’t let your child ride in the car unrestrained, and you don’t want to take chances with your pet, either.
Keeping your pet in a carrier while in the car will help keep everyone safe. If you were in an accident, an unrestrained pet could become a projectile.
If you’re traveling with a cat or small dog, this should be no problem. Larger dogs may not fit into a carrier. In this case, research pet seatbelts that can keep them in place while you’re driving. In addition to keeping them safe, it will ensure your pet doesn’t try to jump into your lap or otherwise distract you while you’re driving.
4. Think Twice Before Booking That Flight
The whole process of flying can be very stressful for pets.
Even worse, it can be dangerous. While there are a small number of pet deaths reported due to airline travel each year, it only takes one tragedy to turn your life upside down.
If possible, consider pet ground transport instead. This is a far safer and more convenient way to get your pet where he needs to be.
If you absolutely must fly with your pet, make sure you find out all the requirements ahead of time. This includes what type of pet carrier you need, the immunizations your pet must have, and any records they need to see. The last thing you want is to be surprised when you arrive at the airport.
If possible, make sure you can carry your pet in the passenger cabin with you instead of in the cargo area.
5. Plan for Food and Potty Breaks
Like the rest of your family, your pet will get hungry and need bathroom breaks on a long trip. Make sure you plan accordingly!
Since you won’t be familiar with the environment as you travel from place to place, don’t assume you can get what you need at the nearest store.
Instead, make sure you pack your pet’s food and plenty of water. Keeping things as normal as possible will help reduce stress. This means feeding at the usual times if possible and using the food and water dishes he’s used to.
Plan so you can find safe places to take your pet out for potty breaks during your trip. When you stop, keep him on a leash and make sure to pick up any messes.
It’s a good idea to bring some old towels and plastic bags with you as well, just in case your pet has an accident in the car while you’re traveling.
6. Double-Check Your Hotel Plans
There are few things worse than finally arriving at your destination and finding out there’s a problem with your hotel.
Don’t assume your pet will be no problem. Some hotels have no problem with pets, while others will charge a large non-refundable deposit, and some won’t allow them at all.
When you book your room, make sure to tell them you’re traveling with a pet and confirm their policy. If you run into trouble while booking your reservations, consider checking out bed and breakfast. They often have more lax policies when it comes to traveling with pets.
Enjoy Time With Your Furry Friend
If you’re like most people, you love your pet just like he’s a member of your family. Following these simple tips for traveling with a pet means you’ll never have to leave your furry friend at home.
Want some more advice to help you take great care of your beloved pet? Browse through a few more of our posts now!