A guide to traveling with pets
Covid-19 has changed plenty of things in our life, including one of our greatest loves: traveling. Nowadays it’s very limited and only advised if absolutely necessary, but If that’s the case - how do you get around with a pet? Here’s a comprehensive guide from our guest writer, Rebecca Siggers.
How to prepare your pet for travel
Before traveling, you need to get ready early on by doing everything to make the journey smooth. That takes some planning and research. Here are the most important things to do:
1. Visit the vet
The first step is to ensure your pet is in good health. After the examination, you will be given a certificate that clears the pet to travel. Make an extra copy to present to the relevant authorities when asked.
2. Get an emergency kit
After visiting a vet, it’s important to have a pet’s emergency kit if anything happens. Some of the things to include in the kit are water bowls, collapsible foods, dog sweaters, cat litter, blankets, harness, collar and leash, paw protectors, and a pet life jacket.
3. Research the rules
Regardless of the choice of transportation, there are rules to follow. If you’re traveling by air, check your airline’s website or call to inquire about traveling with a pet.
4. Get a pet carrier or crate
Whether you’re traveling with a cat or a dog, you’ll need a comfortable carrier. Then ensure the carrier is well labeled with your contact information. You can also consider getting your pet’s favorite toy that fits in the carrier!
5. Rehearse with your pet
If it’s the first time traveling with your pet, rehearsal is crucial. You can do this by placing your pet inside the crate and go for a short drive. Also, put them on the carriers and take a walk to the nearby station or airline terminal. It helps them get familiar with the environment.
Preparation on the travel day before departure
1. Pack food and water
Ensure that you have enough food and water to last throughout your trip. However, avoid feeding your pet at least 5 hours before traveling. It helps to minimize potty breaks. But a little water won’t harm. If you’re not staying with the pet when traveling, provide food and water to go inside the crate or carrier.
2. Final check
Before leaving home, double-check that you have everything you need, from the pet’s health certificate to food and your luggage. That’s why having a checklist is important.
3. Arrive early
Avoid the last-minute rush by getting to the airport or train station one hour earlier. This gives you enough time to consult with the attendants to ensure everything goes well. You can use the extra time to assess the cargo area to ensure the pet is safe there.
4. Before take-off
A great tip is to keep the pet active before boarding. Active pets burn off energy, and this helps to reduce anxiety. If the pet is in the right mood, giving it a sedative is not necessary.
How to keep your pet calm and safe while traveling
1. Put a cloth with your scent in the carrier
Traveling with your pet inside the cabin is good for better comfort. But if you are separated, having your scent around helps to calm your pet.
2. Keep the pet restrained in the car
Traveling by road with pets, especially dogs, can be tricky. You can enhance their safety by ensuring the dog is restrained on the back seat with a seatbelt if it’s not in a crate.
3. Take breaks
It’s advisable to stop every two hours when traveling with a pet. The breaks allow the pet to take bathroom breaks and ease tension build-up from prolonged sitting in the car. Let them exercise a bit because traveling with a tired pet is much easier. However, make sure to secure the pet on a leash and wear a tracker. Also, only make stops at places that allow pets.
Traveling with your pet can be easy if you make sure to prepare ahead of time. If you’re not sure the journey will be smooth, consider leaving your pet at home. Keep in mind some pets may find traveling stressful, making them nervous and vulnerable to various conditions. Leaving them with a trusted sitter may be wise in this case.
However, if your pet is used to travelling or you don’t have a choice, just follow these tips and enjoy the ride!