Getting Your Pets Ready for Traveling

When traveling with your whole family, that also means traveling with your pets. And to make sure everything goes smoothly, getting your pets ready for traveling is essential.

Your pets are part of the family. Wherever you go, you want them to be with you. That includes going on trips and the like.

So with the right preparations, you can ensure that your journey will be fun, exciting, and safe for everyone. Of course, that includes your fur babies.

With that, here are a couple of ways to get your pets ready for traveling.

Teach Your Pets Specific Behavior

One of the ways of getting your pets ready for traveling is by teaching them specific behaviors.

If you’re traveling via plane, they’ll need to stay in their carrier for some time. Do your best to teach them how to stay in the carrier while keeping calm and relaxed. Try to give them the idea that the carrier is their safe place without consistent attention.

For your pooch, he/she should know how to relieve themselves on command and in different environments.

Remember, flights usually take about five hours, and your pet doesn’t know this. With that, you should make the most out of their last potty break.

How Can They Learn These Behavior?

Repetition and patience is key to having them learn these sets of behavior.

Pets learning relaxing techniques while in a carrier can take some time. Plus, it can be a tough task for some fur babies.

When getting your pets ready for traveling, you’ll need to start slow. Make your pets know and feel that the crate is their happy and safe place for the trip.

Feed them some of their favorites in the crate. Scatter a couple of pieces inside. Then, allow your fur babies to find them when they explore the carrier on their own

Gradually increase the time they stay inside until your pet gets comfy in the space.

You want to train them and have them settle in the carrier for the entire flight. Give an additional two hours for boarding, security, etc.

See to it that you’re having them practice at the schedule of your flight. That way, they’ll somehow familiarize themselves with the changes in the environment and time.

If your pet can relax and stay calm in the carrier for 6 hours, a 2-hour flight will be easy.

Talk to Your Vet

Consulting with their vet is another way of getting your pets ready for traveling. Schedule an appointment to see that your pet is in good condition to travel. Plus, it’s best to get up-to-date with all their vaccinations.

If the vet gives you the go signal, schedule a second appointment that’s near your travel date. It’s to make sure that your pet is still healthy enough for the trip.

Have the Right Timing with Vaccinations and Paperwork

If you and your pet are traveling to another country, tell your vet about it immediately. Doing so will ensure that your fur baby meets all the requirements of the destination country. But what’s most important is knowing that they’re healthy enough for travel.

It’s extremely vital to know the customs law of the place you’re visiting. Each country will require pet parents to fill out a pet passport for the pets. Unfortunately, there isn’t only one resource for it since each country has its own.

What to Do?

First, you should ensure that all the proper paperwork for your pet is completed. Keep in mind that pet policies change rapidly. As a pet parent, always check with your preferred airline/ship, etc., when booking a ticket.

Do this a couple of weeks before the travel to have enough time for any necessary adjustments.

Do note that there are microchips, forms, and shots involved. Some countries do not allow entry of pets from specific countries entirely. For others, they’ll require a mandatory quarantine.

Check with your mode of transportation and state vet at your country of destination. Determine what necessary documentation you’ll need to have your pets travel.

It isn’t unusual for airlines to require your pet’s health certificates to be issued ten days before travel.

Recommended Vaccines for Your Pet

You’ll never know what you and your pet may encounter in a new environment and location. With that, it’s best to ensure that your pet babies are as protected and safe as possible. So, getting your pets ready for traveling is crucial.

For cats, it’s best to get them vaccinated for the following:

• Panleukopenia or feline distemper
• Feline calicivirus
• Rabies
• Feline herpesvirus type I

The non-core but still recommended vaccines are the following:

• Feline leukemia virus
• Chlamydophila felis
• Bordetella
• Feline I immunodeficiency virus

When it comes to dogs, they also have a set of vaccinations to get. Here they are:

  • Canine parvovirus
    • Canine hepatitis
    • Distemper
    • Rabies

Non-core but also recommended vaccines are:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
    • Influenza
    • Borrelia burgdorferi
    • Leptospira bacteria or leptospirosis

Note that your pet’s vet can recommend additional vaccines that he/she may consider necessary. This is most especially when it comes to the specific location you’re heading to.

Also, make sure to keep and bring a record of these vaccinations during your travel.

Get Proper Identification

A big fear that every pet parent worries about is what to do if their fur babies get lost. To prevent this, ensure that your pet’s carrier has a travel label affixed to it.

It should include your name, contact information, and final destination. Of course, include other relevant information that may be necessary to contact you.

Make sure that your pet is wearing their collar. Check that it’s safe and well-made to prevent it from getting stuck to the carrier’s door.

Attach two types of identification on their collar: a permanent ID with your name, contact number, and address. The other ID should be a temporary one with the address and contact number of your final destination.

If they go missing while in transit, it’s best to have a current photo of your fur baby with you. It will greatly help others in finding them during this situation.

Choose the Right and Most Adequate Carrier

One sure way of getting your pets ready for traveling is by choosing the right carrier for them.

The carrier should be compact while ensuring that it’s spacious for your pet to stand, turn, and lay down comfortably. There are soft-sided types of carriers that are ideal for stowing beneath your cabin seat. The hard-sided types feature holes for ventilation and are better for pets traveling in the cargo hold.

Every airline has its pet policy, and it should indicate the requirements for carrier sizes. Make sure to measure your pet’s carrier ahead of time to make sure that it’s within the guidelines.

Acclimate Your Pet to the Kennel

Purchase a kennel for your pet in advance, then start acclimating them to using it. Just like crate/carrier training, you need to practice with your pet. Your goal is to have them consider the kennel as a safe and comfy place for them to stay.

It doesn’t matter what type of transportation you go for. Your pet will likely spend a lot of time in their carrier.

So a month before your travel date, make sure to practice putting them inside the kennel. Make sure that they get comfortable and feel relaxed staying inside.

To help your fur baby develop positive associations with it, feed him/her inside for a couple of weeks. Put the things that your pet’s familiar with, like their favorite toys or blankets, inside. This will give your pets the idea that it’s her space to retreat, relax, and sleep.

During the trip itself, line your pet’s kennel with a comfy travel bed and add in some pads too. This is to ensure that they’re safe even if any accidents occur during the flight.

Ready Your Pet’s Travel Kit

When getting your pets ready for traveling, make sure that you pack everything they need too. Include a good amount of their pet food since the brand may not be available at your destination.

You’ll need lots of water, containers for it, and their food. Additional collars, tags, and leashes are essential as well. Their favorite toys or blankets would be good too.

If you’re going on a road trip, don’t forget to bring a litter box to prevent too much of a mess in the vehicle.

When there’s limited space, prioritize water and food instead.

Arrive at the Airport/Seaport/Train Station Earlier – Let Your Pets Exercise and Let Loose

Getting your pets ready for traveling is by arriving at the airport/train station/seaport hours before you leave.

Build extra time since you’ll likely need to go through extra screenings and paperwork checks. If you rush your pet babies, they’ll surely get stressed.

Pet parents like you also want to ensure to give enough time for some last-minute exercise and potty breaks. These are necessary since the trip will likely take some time. Plus, your pet will be stuck in their crate the entire trip.

Let them relieve themselves since they won’t be able to do so during the trip. As for exercise, let them run or walk around the area before you leave. Tire them out so your fur babies will relax and maybe even sleep during the trip.

If your fur baby stays in the cabin, make sure to check in as late as you can. It’s to lessen the time your fur baby will have to wait by the terminal.

Keep your pet in their crate and get it as soon as you arrive at the destination. Inform the available flight attendant that your pet is inside the cargo hold.

Give Your Pet a Chew Toy for Take off and Landing

Like humans, pressure also builds up in your pets’ ears during take-off and landing. Because of that, your furry friend may act strange. Usually, they end up batting at their ears or frequently shaking their head.

To help solve this issue, provide a chew toy or hard and chewable treats to relieve them from discomfort.

Preparations before the Trip

You wouldn’t want your furry companion to starve or get dehydrated before the flight. But of course, you shouldn’t leave them stressed out for hours before reaching their destination. Consult your veterinarian to get advice for the best feeding schedule depending on your pet’s breed, size, and dietary needs.

It’s usually best for animals to travel on a moderately empty stomach. They should also be fairly hydrated and have enough exercise before the journey. Having enough physical activity makes it easier to let them stay calm in the crate during the trip.

Before traveling, walk your pet and if it’s possible let them play. Ensure that they can release their energy so they will feel relaxed while traveling.

Stay Calm and Confident

Pets can easily feel and pick up their owner’s emotions. If you feel anxious, they’ll feel the same way, and this can make traveling with your pet troublesome. If you feel comfortable and confident, they’ll feel this way too.

It’s also important to reassure them before the trip. Talking to your furry companion will help them a lot.

Should You Sedate?

The American Veterinary Medical Association states that you shouldn’t tranquilize or sedate your pet before air travel. Doing so increases the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

Additionally, sedated animals may be unable to brace themselves when they need to prevent injury.

Final Words

Be sure that your pet is ready enough to travel. If you have doubts, consider leaving them with a trusted family member or friend. You can also use a different mode of transportation or a boarding kennel.

If you’re comfortable, they’ll be more comfortable. Plan ahead, project calmness and confidence, so both of you will be ready for travel.

As long as you plan everything carefully, you and your furry buddy will arrive at the destination safe and sound. The entire trip will be an enjoyable experience too.