Take the stress out of traveling with pets

There is no denying the fact that people love their pets. To many, their dogs, cats, fish or birds are their best friends, and they demand that their animal pals go wherever they go, whether that is down the street or across the globe.

Since you care for your pet, you want them to be happy and comfortable wherever you go, and it helps if you can avoid some unneeded stress for yourself as well. To make the best of your trip, heed some of these pet travel tips.

Traveling by Plane

Make an appointment with the vet pre-trip. The last thing that you want is to have a pet health emergency in the middle of your trip, so take the time to visit your veterinarian before you depart.

While you are there, ensure that your companion’s vaccinations are up to date and get a health certificate in the case that the airline requests it.

Make sure you have a proper, USDA-approved crate for your pet. For your peace of mind and your pet’s safety, get a container that allows your him to sit, stand and turn with ease.

Finally, you want your container to be labeled with the proper identification which includes your name, phone number and a photo of your pet in the case that your furry friend escapes the crate in transit. Put a “Live Animal” sticker on the outside, so everyone handling your pet knows exactly what they have in their possession.

Taking a Road Trip

Many of the rules you use for flying also apply to road trips. Unless you have a trained dog who knows how to behave, it is not a good idea to have your pet roaming around the vehicle, and please do not be one of those people who lets your dog sit on your lap while you drive. Instead, get a proper crate that gives the animal space to move around.

In most cases, road trips last a lot longer than flights so extra considerations must be made. You want to be prepared for everything by creating a travel kit that equips you for any contingencies.

This kit should include food, leashes, a bowl, plastic bags, grooming supplies and any medication that your pet might need. The last thing you want is to be in a strange place when your dog or cat starts getting thirsty. Try to avoid giving your pet strange water from a strange place by packing plenty of bottled water.

A Few Words on Traveling Abroad

Do you want to talk about stress? How about the thought of flying for hours only to be turned away at the gates of a foreign country because you didn’t bother to read up on their policies.

There are many countries that do not allow foreign dogs to cross into their nation, and there are others who allow pets but only after a multi-month quarantine process. That would leave you without your pet for the entire trip.

Even more challenging is finding hotels that accept dogs so make sure that you plan these accommodations ahead of time.

Finally, make sure to invest in a comfortable carrier for your pet because they may have to be locked in there for much of the trip. Preparation is paramount whenever you travel because as an owner, you want your pet to enjoy the trip as much as you do.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

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