We are currently in the holiday travel season when people go “across the river and through the woods” to see friends and relatives. We all know that traveling with kids requires more preparation, but have you thought about the requirements for traveling with pets? There are various things you can do before and during your journey, whether you travel with your pet by train, airline, or car.
Traveling With Pets
No matter what your of the method of transportation is make sure to:
- Make sure your pet has an identity tag on their body or is microchipped. The safest identification tags are those that sit flush against a collar or harness. On a collar or harness, identification can also be embroidered.
- The pet’s immunization records should be brought with you, as well as any other medical records you believe to be relevant. Carrying around a lot of paper is unnecessary if you scan documents and save the file to your phone for quick access.
- Pack all of your pet’s essentials; you must have enough food, treats, and toys to keep your pet happy and content during the trip. Make sure all of their prescriptions, including any that your pet only takes occasionally, are packed for the trip. Pack items like travel bowls, bottled water, and freeze-dried food. Towels, a bed, poopy bags or other bags to collect waste, and paper towels are additional goods to take into consideration packing.
- To ensure that your pet is in good enough health to travel, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
- While it’s likely you won’t need to know the location or operating times of an emergency veterinary facility in your destination area, having the piece of mind is invaluable.
- Motion Sickness: If you think your pet could experience motion sickness, bring some floral essences or homeopathic treatments. CBD oil is also a fantastic treatment for motion sickness brought on by anxiety.
Taking a Plane
Plan a direct flight, if possible. A direct journey will reduce the likelihood that airline staff would mishandle your pet, especially if it will be transported in the cargo hold. If you are unable to find a direct flight, you can equip the cage with a GPS monitoring system to keep track of your pet’s whereabouts at all times. Prior to making a flight reservation, make sure you are aware of the airline’s pet travel restrictions.
Obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian, which attests to your pet’s good health and suitability for travel. If you are going abroad, you could require a certificate particular to that nation, and your pet might need additional shots or parasite treatment on both the inside and outside of their body. Plan ahead if entering a country that requires rabies titers and quarantine because the procedure can take a while. You might need to look outside your immediate neighborhood to find a veterinarian because not all of them are accredited.
Use only crates that have received USDA approval, and mark them as “LIVE ANIMAL.” Make temporary travel tags with the phone numbers of your destination and your cell phone. These tags can be attached to both the pet and the crate.
Taking a Road Trip
Before your vacation, acclimate your pet to the car. Simply sit in the car with your dog or cat when it is not moving, starting with brief intervals and progressively extending the time, if you already know your pet is not a great traveler in the car (or if you are unsure). Then take him on short rides, progressively lengthening them as your pet becomes more at ease. Give your pet a treat at the conclusion of each journey as a reward. To ease travel anxiety, calming sprays, CBD, homeopathic treatments, flower essences, and herbs can be used.
Keep your pet safely inside the car. Safety comes first! A crate can help keep your dog safe while driving and reduce driver distraction. Your pet should have enough room in the crate to turn around, lie down, and stand up. Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the carton. A pet car seat or a harness with an attachment that attaches into the seat belt of the car are other options for keeping your pet safe. Your pet’s neck or chest shouldn’t be constrained or scratched, but the fit should be snug. A familiar blanket will reassure your pet and keep them relaxed.
Take breaks often, please! It’s a good idea to give your pet a break every three to four hours even if you consider yourself a “road warrior.” For both of you, taking a stretch, a walk, or a water break will be helpful.