When you welcome a furry friend into your life they become part of your family. It’s hard to leave behind a family member when you go on a trip, especially a lengthy one. While many pet owners hire pet sitters or kennel their pet it can be much easier and more cost efficient to bring the pet along on the trip. With this in mind, studies by AAA and Best Western International show that more than half of pet owners bring their pets with them on trips. Since more and more people are taking their pets on trips we have compiled a list of pet travel tips below.
Road Trip Tips
Do a trial run with your pet to see how they react to a ride in the car. Go for a shorter ride around the area to see if they get car sick or react badly. Figure out the things that make them the most comfortable.
Buckle Them Up
For safety purposes keep your pet restrained in a safe and comfortable manner while they’re in the car. If your pet is walking freely about your vehicle it can be distracting to the driver and harmful to the animal if an accident occurred.
Make Pit Stops
It’s a good idea to make pit stops for both yourself and your pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises pet owners to stop at least every two to three hours. This is especially important to do on long trips so your pet has a chance to use the restroom and get some minor exercise.
Keep Poop Bags Nearby
When making pit stops for your pet they will need to use the restroom, which makes it a good idea to keep poop bags on hand. Poopy Pouch Doggy Poo Disposal Bags by Crown Products are perfect for road trips. These lemon scented bags are great to use for on-the-go scoops.
Hydrate Your Pet
Don’t let your furry friend get dehydrated! The ASPCA suggests pet owners keep a gallon of cold water around so your pet stays sufficiently hydrated throughout the road trip.
Never Leave Your Pet Alone in the Car
If you plan on going somewhere that doesn’t allow pets it’s better to leave your pet at home or at a pet-friendly hotel. Even with a cracked window an outside temperature of 82 degrees the interior of a car can reach a scorching 102 degrees in just a couple minutes. In cold weather, a car contains the cold which puts your pet at risk of freezing to death. When you’re traveling make the appropriate arrangements to keep your pet safe.
Flying with Pets
Do Your Research
Check an airline’s history of flying animals. See if the airline has frequent incidents of pets being lost, injured, or dying. Regulations and fees vary depending on the airline and whether or not your pet flies in the cabin or as checked baggage. All of this will help you know which airline is right for you and your pet.
Ability to Fly
One of the biggest priorities is your pet’s health and this ties into whether or not they should fly. If your pet is really young, old, or in poor health it’s better to leave them at home. There are some breeds that don’t travel well in the cabins, like pugs who are prone to breathing difficulties. Many of the major airlines no longer allow these breeds to fly in their cabins.
Use a Pets-only airline
Pets-only airlines are tailored for the ultimate flying comfort for your pet. One airline, Pet Airways, offers climate-controlled cabins outfitted with individual crates where a flight attendant checks on the animals every 15 minutes. Once the plane lands, pets are given a bathroom break and can be picked up by their owners at the airline’s Pet Lounge.
Prepare Your Pet for the Carrier
Get a kennel for your pet that has room for them to move, turn around, and stand without hitting their head. Make sure your pet is used to being in the carrier beforehand, especially if they have never traveled before. While crate dimension requirements depend on the airline the USDA does require food and water dishes, a “live animal” sticker, upright arrows, and bedding for the animal.
Exercise and Relaxation
To make the flight easier for your pet it would be helpful to play with them and take them for a walk before the flight. The more tired they are the more likely they will sleep during the entire trip. Also, in case your pet gets scared or anxious before the flight it’s good to help them relax. This could be by putting a comfort toy with them in the cabin or calming them with a relaxing scent like lavender. Try to do whatever works for your pet so they have a stress-free trip.
ID Tags and Pet Papers
Always have all your pet’s contact information on your pet and their carrier. Just to be safe it would be helpful to have all your pet’s information with you too. When you’re traveling out of the country there are a lot more regulations to adhere by depending on the country you are traveling to with your pet. Before booking a flight research the vaccinations your pet will need and check to see if they need to be quarantined. Here is a database that has a lot of helpful information on animal import requirements.
Other Pet Travel Tips
Vet bills can be expensive and without pet travel insurance you could be paying a hefty bill should anything happen to your furry friend. Pet travel insurance is a good option to have since travel can bring inherent risks to the health of your pet.
Time of Year
When traveling with your pet consider the time of year and climate in the places you will be traveling to. The best weather for pets to travel in is a moderate climate. When the weather is really hot or really cold it’s harder for pets to travel. There are many airlines that won’t even allow pets in extreme weather conditions.
Establish a Routine
Traveling can induce anxiety in a lot of pets but when owners establish a routine it helps make the traveling process a whole lot easier. There is bound to be some shock traveling to a new place. But when you have a routine with your pet they will soon calm down and have a great vacation with you.
Your trip with your pet will go a whole lot smoother if you book with a pet-friendly hotel. Before booking at any hotel you should make sure your pet is allowed. Also, it’s good to know all of the rules they have in place for animals.
All these tips and suggestions should help you on your way to having a successful and stress-free vacation with your furry friend.