Traveling with a pet is never easy. Pet travel is the best solution for doting pet parents who can’t stay away from their furry child. However, taking your pet on a trip can be very demanding and stressful. The risks of pet travel are real, so you need to take extra precautions before traveling with your pet. Since every animal has a different personality, talk to a veterinarian about the different ways you could keep your pet comfortable and safe when you travel with a pet.
Before booking tickets, think about whether they would be friendly to strangers, have an outgoing personality, and enjoy new environments as it will give you an idea of your pet’s behavior during the duration of your vacation. Whether you plan to take a road trip, cruise, train or a flight, here are some helpful tips on how to make the journey with your pet as smooth and stress-free as possible.
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1.Check your pet’s fitness:
Before taking your furry friend on a flight, find out if they’re fit enough to go on a vacation. Take him to a vet for a pre-trip health check to ensure that Fido is fit enough for the tiresome traveling schedule. Many major airlines don’t allow certain breeds, like snub-nosed dogs, to fly in cargo as they are likely to develop severe breathing problems. In such situations, you’ll need to arrange for an alternative transportation.
2.Go for a trial run:
Before embarking on a long journey, take your pet around for shorter trips like a getaway during the weekend. If you spot any signs of distress, talk to a behaviorist or a vet to help your pet adapt to traveling. Once you’ve decided on a particular mode of transport, take her on many short trips to reduce the anxiety, discomfort and get her accustomed to the journey.
3.Pack the right items:
Calm your canine down by bringing along comfort items that give him a feeling of home. It could be things like his dog bed, his toys, and even your shirt. Travel can be unnerving for your pet so making him feel safe and secure is vital. Don’t forget to get convenience items like a leash, collapsible water bowls, clean towels and wipes, safety restraints, waste bags, and a first-aid kit for pets.
4.Restrain your pet:
Keeping your pets safely buckled will ensure they don’t distract the driver, trouble other passengers or get injured in the event of an accident. Depending on your pet and your transport of choice, use pet seatbelts, travel carriers, pet barriers or pet car seats. The railway and some airlines allow pets in cabins as long as they’re placed in an authorized pet carrier.
5.Never leave them alone:
As it can get extremely hot during the summer season, leaving your pet alone inside your car could turn deadly. The same applies to other types of transportation – no matter where you are, never leave your pet unattended. If you need to go somewhere alone, leave your pet with someone trustworthy, at a canine-friendly hotel or don’t take them on the trip at all.
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6.Check your destination’s regulations:
Many states and countries have different regulations on the health, vaccination, and quarantine of imported pets. Whether you’re looking forward to a South America travel experience or a road trip through the States, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the laws regarding pets in your destination city. Some places require pets to have a microchip implant as they can help track down any missing pet.
7.Prepare your pet before traveling:
It’s important to get your pet ready for travel. While you shouldn’t change the food schedule, feed her a light meal before leaving the house. If you are flying the skies, don’t sedate your pets as it can interfere with their critical thinking and throw them off balance while inside the carrier.
If you need to calm your pet down, talk to a vet about drug-free alternatives like herbal supplements or a DAP collar. You can also dab a few drops of lavender oil on your pet’s collar to calm her down. Never forget to have your pets vaccinated before traveling and always carry your pet’s vaccination papers.
8.Purchase a pet carrier:
Buy an approved pet carrier that has space for him to move around and stand upright. To increase comfortability and familiarity, let him sleep in the carrier with the door open. Make the carrier cozy by placing items that remind him of home. Train your pet to get used to the carrier by using it for a few weeks before the travel date.
9.Take multiple pit stops:
Let Fido out for a walk every few hours to let him stretch his legs or take a bathroom break. You could also use the time to fill up on bottled water and pet snacks. Ensure that your pet remains well hydrated during the entire trip. If he has any dietary restrictions, plan ahead for his food schedule and stock up if necessary.
10.Tag the collars:
Unfortunately, accidents do happen so always prepare for the worst-case scenario. Use a second collar with the contact information of your hotel, your home address, and your phone in a legible manner. Bring along previous medical records of your pet in case of any medical emergency. Opting for a microchip implant will let you find your beloved pet through a simple scan. While a vet can inject the microchip, you need to register the microchip ID with the microchip registry database.
Family vacations become a lot more fun when it’s shared with your furry best friend. Since pet travel is becoming quite common, there has been a steady rise of pet-friendly activities in many cities across the world. Along with following the rules, train your pet to be calm and well-behaved throughout your vacation. Pet travel is fraught with risks, but with some research and care, you and your furry BFF can go on amazing globe-trotting adventures together.
What are your favorite tips for traveling with a pet?
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