Traveling with your pet can be fun and provide you both with new experiences to explore and be active. It also presents more unexpected events to navigate. Having a backup plan that ensures your furry friend will be able to travel with you safely is critical, and these travel tips will help you create a game plan for what you may encounter.
Short Trips Are a Great Way to Discover How Your Pet Travels
It's crucial to know how your pet will behave when traveling before taking a longer trip. Never traveled with your pet before? Try taking a shorter trip to make sure that they're comfortable, and use it as an opportunity to observe their behavior and make a list of things you might need for more extended travel. Pets can become anxious while traveling, so if you notice behavior changes in your pet when you're out and about, then having a few treats on hand or toys for them to play with can help them stay more relaxed.
Talk to your veterinarian about any severe anxiety or motion sickness your pet may have, as they may be able to recommend medications or treatments.
Tips For Traveling by Air
Traveling by airplane is very different from taking a road trip. Your pet may need to get used to being in a crate, which should also be USDA-approved. Any crate used should be big enough for your pet to sit, stand, and turn completely around in. Booking a direct flight is highly recommended, and make sure to coordinate with the airline in advance. If possible, ask to observe your pet being loaded and unloaded from the airplane, inquire about the temperature in the cargo bay, and let the pilot or flight attendant know that you have a pet in the cargo hold.
Be sure to give your pet a potty break right before they enter their carry case. Your carrier should also be lined with old bedding, paper towels, and/or shredded paper to keep your pet comfortable and dry in case there is an accident. Remember, if your furry friend is small enough to fit into a hand-carried case, they should be riding underneath the seat in front of you. Never put them into an overhead bin when flying!
Don't Forget These Essentials When You Leave Home
When traveling, make sure to have a current copy of your pet's vaccination records and retrieve an updated health certificate from your veterinarian. A working microchip and readable tag are also critical in keeping your pet safe. If you plan on traveling to a different country, check to see what requirements you'll need in order for your pet to accompany you, and if your pet is traveling by crate, then make sure that it's properly labeled.
Food and water are essential while traveling. Carrying your own food with you will keep your pet away from unknown water and food sources, which will prevent illnesses. Bring along bottles of water and bowls for food and liquids to make it easy to keep your pet fed and hydrated. Waste bags, scoops, leashes, and a pet first-aid kit are a few other items that will keep your pet friend comfortable and your trip fun for everyone.