Have you ever wished you could travel with your furbaby? Or capture the perfect picture of your pet sitting in the snow for your Instagram? Believe it or not, it’s totally possible to travel with your dog or cat. Here’s a complete guide to getting you started on flying with or road tripping with your pet:
Rules and regulations
So, first things first – know your limitations. Be sure to adhere to any regulations, especially if you’re travelling by air. The rules of flying with your pet vary from airline to airline, such as limitations on the size of the crate or weight limits, so be clear on them. You might need to ensure prior booking arrangements for your pet as well. An easier means of travelling with your pet is taking a road trip. That said, note that buses don’t allow pets.
Crates and carriers
The best way to keep your pet safe while travelling is to carry them in a crate. This is especially so for airline travel. Your crate should also be large to allow comfortable movement for your pet. The bottom should have absorbent materials and the handles should be sturdy. You can also fill the crate with a mat, toy, and water to help your pet feel more at ease as they travel.
Safety and health precautions
It’s important to take your pet – whether a cat, dog, or bird – to the vet prior to travelling with them. Also, ensure that they’re up to date on all the necessary vaccinations. If flying, it’ll be a requirement to have all health certificates of your pet ready. This is to ensure that flight staff are aware your pet is healthy.
Keep them hydrated
Flying or travelling for long distances can be dehydrating for your cat or dog. Ensure that you always carry bottled water for them. Much like how you have your reusable water bottle, there are reusable water bottles made specifically for pets too. Water is life and your pet requires this to always maintain their good health.
While travelling, you always make sure to carry food for you, but your pet definitely won’t have the same dietary needs as you. Be sure to bring along their favourite snacks so they can munch along with you, but it’s best to stick to things made specifically for them – like what is the best dog food for small dogs or how older cats will likely need you to bring a glucosamine supplement along. Speaking of which, be sure to pack their medication too if they have any.
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Travelling by car
If you’ve decided to travel long distance by car, first get your pet used to travelling for short distances. The car should have good ventilation, especially if your pet is locked in a crate. To prevent your pet from becoming sick, consider travelling during the early morning hours when your pet still has an empty stomach. As cute as it may look, avoid letting your dog (or any pet for that matter) ride on the back of an open truck as this can lead to health issues like heatstroke.
Have a pet ID
This is especially important for dog owners. While you may have a strong leash and collar, your furkid can still wander off, so attaching an identity card to their collar is imperative. This card should have a recent photo of your dog, your dog’s name, your name, your phone number, address, or any other contact details. Do include the details of your dog’s rabies shot as well. This way, whoever finds him or her won’t be afraid.
As much as possible, don’t leave your pet unattended as well. If you can’t be with them, ensure a friend or family member who’s comfortable with your pet is around to keep an eye on them. It’ll just cause a lot of anxiety for you and your pet should they go missing.
Teach your pet where/when to relieve themselves. Overall, the trip shouldn’t be uncomfortable for you or your pet, so be sure to factor in frequent necessary bathroom breaks. Bring a supply of extra bags to clean up after them too. It also helps to ensure that your pet (especially a dog) is comfortable relieving themselves at various/unfamiliar places.
Be prepared for emergencies
We know, we’re on the topic of travelling and fun, but one should always be prepared for the possibility of a sudden health emergency of their loved ones. This includes your furry or feathered friends. Have the number or contact information of a vet at your destination ready so that if your pet needs sudden medical attention they’ll surely be in good hands.