You must keep your pet in mind before you make travel plans. If you plan on traveling out of the country, it is best to keep your pet at a pet-sitter’s or in an animal boarding facility. However, these days, most airlines allow all kinds of pets to travel on board. In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know when traveling with a pet. Use these pointers and easy ways to travel comfortably with your pet.
1. Make sure the pet is fit to travel
Contact your vet and get your pet tested to ensure it is healthy for travel, whether by road or air. Get all of its vaccinations up-to-date; these are required for ensuring good health. Carry a set of medicines your pet might need including pills for nausea, fever etc. Your vet will guide you about sedatives to use for pets, especially in case of air travel. However, most sleep inducing medicines are known to cause side effects such as lowering of blood pressure, anxiety etc. Do consider all these aspects before planning to travel with a pet.
2. Traveling with a pet in a car
While traveling with a pet on a road journey, make sure the pet is comfortable in the vehicle. Some pets love car travel; others do not. Try and get your pet accustomed to short car rides, a few days before the actual journey. Here are some more tips to help you:
- Secure the pet firmly in the car.
- Carry plenty of fresh water for the pet.
- Take frequent breaks. Allow the pet to relieve itself and also exercise a bit from time to time.
- Feed your pet at least 2-3 hours before the journey.
- Do not forget to take your pet’s food with you. Allow the pet to rest a bit after its meal, before you resume travel.
- Never leave the pet inside a hot car for long period of time.
- Travel during the coolest part of the day.
- Make sure the vehicle is adequately ventilated. However, also ensure that the pet cannot escape from the open window.
- Avoid traveling on very hot days.
3. Traveling with a pet in an airplane
Air travel can be very stressful for pets. Here are some tips to ease the task
- Choose a direct flight to reduce travel time as far as possible.
- Your airline will guide you about safe air travel with pet. Follow the instructions to the T and also ensure introducing the container to the pet so it gets accustomed to it before the actual travel.
- Provide gelled water for the duration of the flight.
- Fulfill all legal requirements of travel.
- Reconfirm your travel booking by calling the airline a day before the travel.
- If you plan on using travel crates, make sure they are latched securely. There should be no parts dangling inside that could hurt the pet. Make sure the crate is adequately ventilated.
- Clearly label the crate and provide all information such as your name, address and phone number. You could also attach your pet’s details on the crate.
- Most airlines allow only a limited number of pets. So book early to avoid disappointment. The fee for booking is usually non refundable. Also, there is a weight limit- you and your pet cannot exceed 20 lbs. Your pet and its carrier will be counted as one carry-on bag and you are only allowed one pet per passenger.
4. Hotels for pets
You might also want to book a hotel or an accommodation that also allows your pet. Always ask the hotel about their pet-related policies before booking. For example, some hotels do not allow pets to be left alone inside the hotel room. So, you will need to plan accordingly. These days, you can also book luxury hotels for dogs too. Here is a great website which can help you find pet friendly accommodation no matter where you go.
5. Pet friendly restaurants
Many restaurants allow pets as long as they are on a leash. Here is a great resource to help you find some dog friendly restaurants.
6. Keep a list of AAHA accredited hospitals
American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) hospitals can give your pet world class care in the event your pet needs it. They list hospitals across the USA and Canada. Also, keep your vet’s phone number handy incase an emergency arises.
Once you have arrived at your destination, keep an eye out for your pet. It is natural to see certain changes in the animal-including lack of appetite or excess sleeping. However, you must watch out for abnormal signs such as excessive nasal or oral discharges or behavioral changes like biting, barking etc. Visit a local veterinarian immediately if you see these signs. We hope these easy ways to travel with a pet help you.