Some pets love to travel, and some hate it. Traveling can be very stressful for animals, and for you as a caring owner as well. Here are some easy tips for traveling with pets to make it an enjoyable experience for both of you.
Our family pets are such an important part of our lives, and sometimes we need to take them with us. There are several ways your pet can travel, as most forms of transportation accept them. Educating yourself about all your options is important when making the correct choice of traveling with pets.
These tips are geared towards cats and dogs, but can easily adapted to any pet you need to travel with.
Things To Ask Yourself To Help You Decide That Traveling With Pets Is Right For You Both
Should I be traveling with my pet if my trip is extended?
To be honest, the longer the trip the more stress there is. If your trip is long or there is the potential of travel delays or cancellations, then the best thing may be to board your pet at a reputable kennel or hire a pet sitter that can come to your home.
Why is it so hard to travel with pets?
Changes in environment can be really hard on your four-legged family members. We hate to see our pets uncomfortable, and traveling can do that. Take the time to discuss if having your pet with you outweighs the distress they may feel during travel.
Which airline is the most pet friendly?
Based on research and recommendations, Alaska Airlines are the most pet-friendly when using air travel. On the same note, United Airlines is the least pet-friendly air carrier.
Why should I crate my dog in the car?
There are two main reasons for crating your dog while traveling. First, no matter how well trained your dog may be, new environments can make even the most well-behaved dog crazy. They could end up jumping all over the driver, or try to get out a window. This is a major safety hazard. Second, in the event of an accident, a crate can protect your dog and make any injuries less severe.
Is driving or flying less stressful for cats?
If your cat gets easily stressed, the quicker you can get there, the better off your pet will be. So flying may be the best option.
What Form of Travel Is Best For Your Pet?
If you have traveled with your pet before, you may know how he handles trips. Does your pet generally look forward to going someplace new, or is he scared and apprehensive of out-of-the-ordinary situations?
Perhaps your pet loves car journeys but had a bad experience in an airplane that terrified him. If at all possible, choose a form that will not upset your little companion.
Summer travel can be a bit more complicated due to heat or length of travel. So it may take some more planning to get your 4-legged friend to your Summer destination.
If you travel frequently with your pet, take the time to add these expenses into your yearly family budget so you can save for a pet-sitter or to fly your pet to your destination.
What If Your Pet Can’t Travel In The Same Vehicle As You?
If you are not able to drive to your destination, you may have to consider flying your pet or having them transported by train. That can be a very troubling situation for pet owners, so if you have to do this, make sure you are doing it the best possible way.
Again, your vet is a great place to get some recommendations. They may give you insights on which method would work for your pet, and they could have names and phone numbers for you to try.
Don’t forget to ask around your pet-loving friends and neighbors. And, as always, there are online reviews. Keep reading below to find out what you should be looking for.
Make sure you have a packet put together will all your pet’s medical information. Any medications or pre-existing conditions, and of course immunization records and flea & tick treatments. That way, if something does happen, you have all the information at your fingertips.
Good Reviews And Recommendations, Or Bad? What You Should Research Before Traveling With Pets.
Look for online reviews on each potential method of transportation, and each different company. Are they mostly positive or negative? Be aware that some online travel sites may be edited by companies, but you can often find out whether the one you are traveling with is known for protecting animals in their care or not.
Educate yourself so that you can assess all your pet’s travel-related risks. This is one of those instances that paying more will be the best thing when you want to travel safely with your pet. If you can’t be with them, at least you know they should be taken care of very well.
How Can You Comfort Your Pet As Much As Possible During Travel?
There are ways you can help comfort your pet while traveling. Send his favorite toy or stuffed animal to give him some familiarity. Wear a t-shirt the night before traveling and then put it into his travel carrier in order to help comfort him for the stretch of time that you are not around. Make sure he is well fed and has plenty of water.
If your pet is traveling with you, is it possible for a family member to be seated near the carrier? Sometimes a few pets and sniffs through the carrier can help soothe a nervous pet (and an anxious owner.
As a last resort, consider medicating your pet. Talk to your vet before you travel on this method. They may be able to say you should do it before you leave home, or what to do if it is necessary during the trip.
Make sure they give you a prescription if indicated, and have at least one refill available. Research a few places near your destination that could refill the medication in case you need it. You don’t want to be scrambling around somewhere unfamiliar.
How Will the Pet Be Handled Before And After The Trip?
Ask how your pet will be handled before and after the flight or other method of transport. Have the staff been properly trained in all related procedures? Is the safety and comfort of your pet top priority for the company you are traveling with?
Where Exactly Will Your Pet Travel?
If you are not traveling in your own vehicle, but by train or airplane, get specific information. Your pet may be traveling on the same flight as you, but where will he actually be? Will your pet be put with all the luggage, or does the airline have a proper, comfortable place that they use regularly for pets?
Be aware of things such as train baggage cars that may be heated but not air-conditioned, as this will affect the time of year you are able to travel with your pet on this type of transportation.
What Measures Exist To Ensure Your Pet’s Safety?
Although there may be procedures and rules in place in regards to animal safety when accompanying a passenger, unfortunately these are not always followed. If the particular company truly cares for the safety and well-being of every pet in their care, they will take measures to ensure that procedures are followed.
Are there security cameras in all areas your pet will enter, in order to prove that animals are being treated kindly and not abused? Are the staff observed when loading pets onto the airplane or train in order to confirm that your loved pet is not being thrown around like a suitcase?
Things To Do Before Your Pet Leaves The House
So now that you have your travel plan in place, make sure you also take the time to do these tasks. Depending on when you travel, you may have to start on this list first before making travel arrangements. Modes of transport may need these records before you make arrangements.
- Make sure your pet’s microchip information is updated. If it doesn’t have it, consider getting it done before you go, just in case.
- Make sure all immunizations are up-to-date.
- Apply flea & tick protection and make sure your pet has its heartworm medication.
- Have medications filled and refills available.
- Have a new toy or treat available.
- Check travel crate or container. Replace it if you have any doubt about its ability to safely protect your pet.
- Consider adding a t-shirt you have recently worn so your pet has a familiar scent with them.
What Products Help Make Traveling With Pets Easy?
So now that you know how to best travel with your pets, here are some suggestions for the best gear to use!
- Cat Carrier With Bed
- Rolling Dog Travel Crate
- Collapsible Travel Pet Bowls
- Premium Pet Travel Bag With Compartments
- Travel Ramp For Car Or Camper
There are many considerations when planning a trip with your pet. Research, weigh your pros and cons, and make the best travel decisions possible for your beloved family member. By planning ahead, you can ensure that traveling with pets is safe and comfortable so you both can have a good experience.