Tips on Traveling with Pets

Believe it or not, the words ‘car ride’ do not always mean you are going to have a wonderful time with your pooch. Although many pet owners can easily recount tales of how these two words can bring joy and happiness into many of their lives, there are as many with absolute horror stories to tell. So, if your dog or cat is one of those that falls asleep as soon as the vehicle starts moving and does not cause a fuss of any kind, only to wake up once you reach your destination – you may want to skip over the rest of this article. If your pet does not fit this description, then read on.

1 – Build Up To The Long Drive Over Time

If your pet does not travel well, you can take some time to get him or her accustomed to what it feels like to ride in the back seat of a moving vehicle. All you have to do is start taking your pet on short trips – to the corner grocery store, for example. Slowly increase the distance leading up to when you take your trip. This will also work if the trip is in any kind of moving object – including an airplane. Your goal here is to get your pet used to the movement.

2 – Use A Crate Or Pet Carrier

Even if your pet does eventually settle down for travelling, you should still use a crate or pet carrier for transportation purposes. Be sure to get one that is large enough for your dog or cat to walk around in, curl up and sleep and still have room for a food and water dish. To get your pet used to the idea of the crate or carrier, place it somewhere that your pet spends time indoors. Leave the door to the crate open, put a favorite blanket or toy inside. Eventually your dog or cat will start to spend time in and around the carrier. This will make using it much easier on a long road trip.

3 – Take Your Pet Care Road Kit

For an easier time on the road with your pet, which should keep both of you calm and relaxed, be sure to put together your pet-friendly travel kit. It can contain all the important items you’ll need when you are away from home including grooming tools, leash, collar, first-aid medications, toys, a pet pillow and blanket, all vaccination documents and food dishes and supplies. When you are this prepared, you should be able to relax and enjoy your trip.

4 – Remember To Take Good Care Of Your Special Passenger

As you will probably be travelling to unfamiliar territory to your dog or cat, be sure to not let them roam away from your vehicle without being on a leash. Also, do not leave your pet alone in the vehicle for any length of time. Be mindful of the weather conditions and keep your pet with you on hot or cold weather days to keep them from getting sick.

5 – Flying With A Pet Is A Whole Different Ball Game

It’s true. Some of the tricks you use to get your dog or cat prepared for a trip won’t apply in any way to an airline flight. One of your best solutions when flying is to opt for direct flights. What this does is that it reduces the number of times you and your cargo have to be processed and connected to additional flights. It also reduces the possibility that the crate carrying your pet doesn’t end up going to somewhere else or arrives at your destination a flight ahead of you.

6 – Before You Take Any Kind Of Trip, Do This First

Your pet’s veterinarian is the person you should see long before your vacation begins. This is so that you can ensure that any and all vaccinations are current and so you can pick up a health certificate from your vet to add to your important travel papers. If your travel plans include international travel, be sure that the documents required have all the necessary information on them and that your pet is safe to travel.

7 – Don’t Forget To Get An Airline-Approved Travel Crate

We’ve mentioned travel crates already and even hinted as to the size you may need for your pet. What we didn’t state was that you need to make sure that the crate you use is an airline-approved model. The idea behind this is that a proper carrier has to be used and you can’t skimp on this by wrapping a cardboard box in duct tape. It just isn’t going to fit the bill. Besides, if you do this right the first time, you won’t have to repeat many of these steps ever again.

8 – When In Doubt, Ask About The Pet Transportation Guidelines

Many major airlines are pretty good about shipping pets here, there and everywhere. But you won’t know what yours will or can do for you unless you make the call and ask some questions. The information you may find online can be outdated so a call a few weeks before your trip will provide you with the most current information. You may also want to explore other options – including the airline that specializes in pet transportation. In fact, there are a few of them around. Check with each to see which one can help you the best with your travel plans.

Besides, What Good Is It To Show Vacation Slides To Your Pet After The Fact?

You could just leave your dog or cat at home in the care of a friend, neighbor or pet sitter. But if your pet is a member of your family, you will most likely want to have that special critter with you when you go on holiday. There are special considerations that are required in order to make this situation a positive experience for all, but if you use these guidelines, you should be able to enjoy a trip with your pet regardless of the destination.

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