9 Tips for Traveling With Your Pets


According to a recent study, approximately 30 million people travel with their pets every year. The most common ways to prepare for pet travel is to take your pet to the vet, enroll your furry buddy in a pet obedience course, and research the pet regulations of the area you are visiting.

These simple steps will help promote a hassle-free trip, but additional actions is needed to ensure an absolute safe one. Whether you are brining your four-legged friend with you to the beach or the mountains, make sure that your pet is prepared to travel to the desired destination.

Car Travel

pet in a car traveling

The best way to transfer your pet to another destination is by car. Contrary to other modes of transportation, car travel offers easier control and interactions with your pet. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about issues like the possibility of not being able to walk your pet for an extended period of time or worrying about your pet’s safety in cargo. They only important considerations that you will need to keep in mind with car travel are

1. Pets should be kept in the back seat in a carrier or harness at all times. Protect your buddy from damaging his ears and eyes by keeping his head inside the car and not outside the window. Regardless of the methods used to restrain your pet in the car, his comfort and safety should be the top priorities.

2. Make sure that you take frequent breaks so that your pet can relieve themselves and consume food and water. Take the time to also walk your pet during these breaks. The pet should be on a leash and have a collar with a permanent and temporary travel identification tag. Never leave your pet unattended in the car.

3. Talk to your vet about medications to prevent car sickness. Another option to minimizing car sickness is simply feeding your pet a light meal about 5 hours before travel.

Even though traveling by car has its many advantages, some pets simply do not like car rides. For those who have pets who do not enjoy being in the car, consider gradually associating car rides with positive experiences like a short trip to the dog park, pet store, or another fun place before taking a long excursion.

Air Travel

pet inside an airplane

Although flying is not the best option for pets, air travel may be a possibility. Some airlines require that pets be checked as cargo, which can be extremely risky for various reasons. The pet can be affected by the heat or cold since temperature is often magnified in poorly ventilated cargo. If you decide to check your pet as cargo, research the airlines requirements for your pet’s food, water, and kennel. Regardless of your decision, you can follow these tips to guarantee successful pet air travel.

4. Take your pet for a long walk before the flight. There will not be much opportunity to exercise again when the plane departs. If you want to limit the amount of time spent in the air and in the airports, try to book only direct flights.

5. Avoid feeding your pet food six to eight hours before the flight, but you should give him plenty of water right before departure.

6. Select the right carrier for your pet and the airline. Pets must remain in their carrier at all times. The carrier should stay under the seat in front of you. Many airlines will consider your carrier as a carry on, so you may have to check your luggage.

Pet owners should know the breed restrictions before embarking on air travel, especially those who plan to check their pet as cargo. Certain breeds that are brachycephalic or snub-nosed cannot be place in cargo because of their respiratory problems. Pets from these such breeds include boxers, Persians, terriers, Himalayans, and pit bulls. Most importantly, access your pet’s temperament, current illness, and physical impairments before committing to a placing your best buddy in cargo. If necessary, talk with a veterinarian to determine if your pet is capable of long travel.

Cruise Travel

pet on a cruise

Cruise travel with your pet may sound fun, but the idea may actually be more cumbersome if not thoroughly planned. After running across a cruise ship that can accommodate certain kinds of pets, it’s important to ask about the number of pets allotted on the ship at the time of reservation as some ships limit pet passengers to only 12. The following tips should also be considered before you travel with your pet on a cruise.

7. Pack special bedding and toys that will help your pet feel more at ease during the trip. Additional items that may be useful to have are a litter, water and food bowls, collar, tags, leash, pet first-aid kit, important medications, and grooming supplies. Don’t forget to visit your pet often while he is in the cabin, and walk him at appointed hours.

8. Alert the cruise line if your pet will require any special dietary restrictions for food. Maybe consider even packing dog food in your luggage.

9. Obtain proof of vaccinations and health certifications from your dog’s veterinarian before the cruise. Acquiring proof of rabies vaccination is especially important. These key documents typically need to be dated within 10 days of departure.

Before embarking on your journey at sea, make sure that you check with the embassy or agriculture department of the country you are visiting to ensure that your pet is compliant with any entry requirements.

Taking Off!

Traveling with your pet doesn’t have to be a difficult experience, but a smooth trip will require much preparation. Along with researching the best type of travel for your situation, you may also want to consider lodging options.

There are increasingly more accommodations that are catering to pet owners and their furry friend; therefore, you shouldn’t have much problems finding a place that offers comfortable pet bedding, daycare, homemade treats, and other pet-friendly amenities. Most destinations will accommodate pets, but a trip should still be properly planned to ensure a safe yet comfortable journey.

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