The Basics of Traveling with Pets

When there’s a scheduled trip away from home, every pet parent’s worry is leaving their precious fur babies behind. However, there are also some set of problems you may encounter when taking them as well. These can include your pets getting anxious, agitated, or getting sick during the trip.But no matter what your reason for travel is, there are ways to keep your fur babies from staying behind. With that, you’ll need to know the basics of traveling with pets. This is to make things comfortable and convenient for you and your precious pets.Here are some tips that you need to know so you and your pets can have a relaxing trip.It doesn’t matter the mode or distance of your travel. The basics of traveling with pets will help you and your pet babies go through the journey’s phase smoothly.

Never Underestimate the Cost

One of the basics of traveling with pets is to never underestimate the entire cost of the trip. Yes, there will be additional fees, but they can get quite high.Between air, crates, hotel charges, extra food, and emergency vet bills, these could all add up during the trip. With that, you should be aware and anticipate the costs, allowing some extra room in your budget.

Ensure that Your Fur Babies are Up for the Trip

Before taking your pet along with you, it’s best to ask yourself if they want to go and join.This is the suggestion of certified animal behaviorist Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. Sometimes, pet parents believe that their cats or dogs will be fine during travels and want to go with them. Instead, they end up terrified when meeting strangers or become wrecks in crowded places.So, take into consideration one of the basics of traveling with pets. Think of their personality and remember that they’ll end up exposed to changing environments. Not only that, but they’ll be meeting lots of people as well.Also, it’s better to consult your veterinarian first and determine if your pet is healthy enough to handle traveling.

Research on Your Airline’s Policies Regarding Pets

Everywhere we go there are rules, that also goes for traveling with pets by airline. Before going on a trip with your pets, make sure that you know the airline’s restrictions and requirements. That also goes for the terminal.When traveling via plane with your pets, try booking a direct flight to avoid dealing with stop-overs. Moving your pets from one place to another can stress them out. Plus, it increases the chances of them running away due to anxiety.

Additionally, you’ll need to make various arrangements for in-cabin pet travels compared to cargo pet travels. At times, smaller pets like hamsters, birds, or reptiles can stay in the cabin.For bigger pets like cats or dogs are often housed in the plane’s back area. Before allowing this, ask about the environment your pets will be in during the flight. Make sure that there is adequate ventilation and security in that area.Also, check if you need to provide more water, blankets, or a comforter to keep them relaxed.A lot of airlines offer special web pages that list their policies regarding pet travels. These also include details on how to make cargo/in-cabin arrangements.

Schedule a Pre-Trip Checkup with Your Pet’s Veterinarian

All pet parents are advised to let their veterinarians know about their travel plans. It’s one of the basics of traveling with pets suggested by the CDCP or Center for Disease Control and Prevention.Keep in mind that it may take several visits before all the needed vaccinations and paperwork are fulfilled. With that, plan and organize all your vet visits adequately in advance of your travel.

Know Your Pet’s Health

Knowing more about your fur baby’s normal temperature, respiratory, and even pulse rate is best. That also goes for their prescription medications and any other health issues that they may have.These details will not only keep your pets safe, it’ll also save you time, money, and worries while traveling. So, it’s best to consult your pet’s veterinarian and make a checklist for these details.

Immunizations, Certificates, plus Tests

Do note that some countries ask for rabies certificates, blood tests, and other specific vaccines when traveling with pets. And most of the time, they require these information around six months even before your travel.Failure to follow these rules can lead to pet separation in the destination country. The reason for this is due to officials needing to quarantine your pets upon your arrival. Having them separated from you would cause them anxiety, and no pet parent would want that to happen.If your pet is on medication, eats special food, or needs flea/tick prevention, ensure to get adequate supply from your veterinarian. Make sure that it’ll last throughout the trip and a few weeks after that.

Stress Reduction for You and Your Pet

Aside from essential vaccinations, blood tests, paperwork, and medication, your vet can help make things easier for your pet’s travel. And with that, it means you and your fur baby can have a less stressful journey.Your vet can give you additional information about treatments and various suggestions for more convenience. These include getting a microchip implant for your pet to calm concerns and worries of losing them.

Don’t Forget Your Pet’s First-Aid Kit

Another one of the basics of traveling with pets is bringing their own first-aid kit. Just like you, they also need such items for emergencies and the like.It should include a pet thermometer, antibiotic ointments, gauze, tweezers, ear drops, and other essentials for your pet. If you’re unsure of what else to bring, you can consult your veterinarian about it.

Prepare Your Pet for the Journey

The most important tip to remember when planning to travel with pets is to prepare them for the trip.Pre-travel preparation is one of the essential parts of traveling with or without your fur babies. By planning thoroughly, you can save yourself from any trouble while keeping your pets comfortable.Here are some things you need to prepare for before going on the journey.

Rehearse a Bit with Your Pet

If your pet never experienced a long journey, you’ll need to get them ready by taking them on short drives. Then, increase the distance and time gradually so they’ll get used to traveling. Make sure to place them in a comfortable crate every time you rehearse with your pet. This will allow them to get used to the whole idea of travels much faster.If you’re flying via plane, take your pet and go walking around the airline station or terminal. Doing so lets them get familiar with the sound, smell, and environment of the area.After your practice, reward your fur babies with treats for having good behavior.

Take a Relaxing Walk before Boarding

It’ll greatly help your pet if you allow them to walk or run around the area before boarding any vehicle. In the airport/station, check if there’s adequate space for your pets to have a quick round of exercise.Doing so will help you and your fur baby expend excess energy, making you both tired during the flight. With that, your pet will end up resting during the trip, allowing for a peaceful journey for both of you.

Buy the Right Crate or Carrier

If you’re planning to purchase a shipping crate for your fur buddies, make sure that it’s IATA approved. Any type of carrier/crate should be big enough for your pet to stand, turn, and sit on with ease.Plus, these should be secure enough to not slip or slide around when the vehicle stops or moves.

Prepare the Crate for Comfort

Among the basics of traveling with pets is preparing their crate or carrier for comfort. Line these with absorbent beddings like shredded cloth or paper. You can also put training/potty pads for them to keep things dry throughout the trip.Before leaving, make sure to freeze a small bowl of water. It will melt during travel time, and your pet can lick on it when they get thirsty. The purpose of it is to avoid spilling during load time and the travel itself.Make sure that you securely close their carrier/crate but never lock it in the process. This is to allow opening for feeding or during emergencies.Another great tip to follow is to attach a bag of kibbles outside the carrier. It will allow the personnel in charge to feed your pets during lengthy trips or layovers.Moreover, be sure to attach your fur baby’s identification on the carrier to avoid misplacing them.

Prepare the Necessary Gear

Getting the right gear is one of the basics of traveling with pets. Be sure to invest in waste bags, collapsible water bowls, a leash, and a safety harness. Of course, don’t forget comfort items like your pet’s bed and toys to make them feel at home.Whether your pet is a new or experienced traveler, things that feel like home are essential. These will make them relaxed during the first unnerving days of a trip.Aside from the essentials, travel with the bedding that they’ve slept on or one of your T-shirts. Place it in their crate to calm them.You can use their bed once you reach your destination, so they’ll have a cozy spot to sleep on.

Never Sedate Your Pet

Sedation of pets before air travel can increase the risks of respiratory and cardiac conditions. These issues are potentially caused by atmospheric pressures and changing altitudes.Sedatives can also disrupt your fur babies equilibrium while they’re being transported via crate or carrier.

 

Provide Proper Identification for Your Pet

Make your pets wear a collar with a tag indicating your name, home address, and contact information. It’s best if they have a microchip so you can easily reunite with your pet if they get lost.

Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Although many accommodations allow pets, others don’t. Of course, you’ll want to book a pet-friendly hotel when traveling with your pets. Be sure to do your research before booking accommodation.Also, note that even if the hotel welcomes pets, not all allow them in the rooms. Some hotels have specific rooms for pet owners.Other hotels ask guests to specify the animal’s species, breed, weight, size, and more. Before booking, review all of the hotel’s rules and ask all the necessary questions.

Never Leave Your Pet Alone

If you’re driving a car, never leave your pet alone inside the vehicle. Any animal left in a locked car is at risk of overheating on hot days. In fact, it’s a common case in veterinary clinics.During the summer, the temperature inside a car can reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in 10 to 15 minutes. Also, the temperature in a closed car can still go above 100 degrees in an hour on milder days.Leaving pets in a closed car during cold days is equally dangerous as leaving them in during hot days. In these times, temperatures in parked cars go below the freezing point.If you leave the car’s windows partially opened, your pet may jump out. Also, a passerby may stick their hands in, which can provoke animals to bite.If you’re driving alone and need to use the restroom, you’ll need to leave your pet. If this is the case, lock him or her with a bowl of water. Also, get back as fast as possible.

Keep Windows Closed

One of the basics of traveling with pets when driving is keeping your car’s windows and sunroof closed. This way, you can prevent them from escaping.As a pet parent, you should also observe safety by using pet seat belts for a safe trip.

Feeding Your Pet

Never overfeed your fur baby before a trip. Feed him or her a light meal several hours before traveling to prevent nausea.If possible, walk your pet beforehand, so he/she can release some energy.Another thing to remember when it comes to traveling with pets and feeding is to avoid adventurous eating. Bring your pet’s food from home and use bottled water. Dietary changes can cause GI upset, which can also happen in humans.

Stay with the Schedule

Try to feed your furry friend on the same schedule as you would at home. Staying on their routine keeps pets secure. But never feed him or her in a moving vehicle, even if it’s a long drive.

Mark Your Territory

When you reach your destination, help your pet in getting settled. If you’re staying in a new rental property, don’t leave your furry friend for at least 24 hours. Let them see that you’re unpacking and sleeping there, so they know that you’re coming back.If you need to leave the property without your pet, use a baby gate or X-pen. This will keep him or her confined in a safe spot. You can also use the crate if that’s where your furry friend feels safe and comfortable.