Traveling with your pet is similar to bringing a ~literal~ baby with you. You need to prepare for a lot of things in advance, including health check ups, documents, and more. So to make this easier for you, here’s a guide on what to do and bring to ensure you and your pet have a safe, fun, and hassle-free vacation. Read below!
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Top Tips When Traveling With A Pet
1. Take them on shorter car rides
First time traveling with your pet via car? Ensure they’re comfortable beforehand. You can take them on shorter car rides as a “practice” for the longer car ride that you’ll be having. Going on shorter car rides will also allow you to know if they get car sick. In that case, you can get necessary medications from the vet so you can bring them along comfortably.
Additionally, before the ride, relax them by taking them out on walks. They’ll be easier to handle when they’re calmer.
2. Make time for bathroom breaks
In relation to the first point, see to it that you stop every couple of hours during your long distance driving. Your dog will appreciate a toilet break and a chance to stretch your legs – and you too as the driver. Just keep them close at all times, and ensure they’re wearing their collar and ID in case they run away.
3. Create a checklist
Like with any other trips, creating a checklist helps you to remember everything you need to bring. So when traveling with your pet, create a checklist. A sample checklist can look like this:
- Rabies and vaccination certificates
- Prescription medications (if any)
- Their favorite toy/blanket
4. Pack an emergency kit
It’s also a good idea to prepare an emergency kit when traveling with your pet. It’s way easier to deal with your pet’s medical emergency this way. Ensure to bring the following:
- Your pet’s medical records
- Your pet’s first aid kit
- Your vet’s contact details
- Extra food and water
5. Don’t allow your pet to put their head out the window
Letting your dog’s head out the window looks really cool (and cute for other drivers on the road). But too much of it can expose them to risks such as eye irritation, or worse, get injured by something you drive past. They could also slip out of their harness and jump out the window. (Yikes!)
It’s okay to roll down your windows a little bit so they can still get fresh air, but don’t roll it all the way down just to keep them safe!
6. Ensure to book a pet-friendly hotel
When looking for a hotel, ensure they’re pet-friendly. Several hotels offer this information on their website, so it shouldn’t be that hard to look for one. Some pet-friendly hotels have some restrictions, though, such as the size of the dog that’s allowed. Some even charge by night, and some allow pets to stay for free. Moreover, see to it that the area has nearby parks for your pet to play around and meet other doggos.
7. Check for pet-friendly establishments in the area
If you’re exploring the area, it’s best to do some additional research on pet-friendly establishments to make sure that you can bring along your pet wherever you go. This is especially important in public beaches and restaurants, as some do not allow pets to enter.
8. Secure your pet at all times
When traveling with your pet via car, secure them using a special seatbelt or a crate. Better yet, if you’re traveling with someone, they can help hold your pet. While letting your pet roam free looks fun – especially for your furry child – during the car ride, your pet should be secured at all times to avoid accidents.
9. Ensure you have all the correct paperwork before flying
Lastly, if you’re traveling with your pet by air, the first thing you should do is to have your pet checked by your vet to make sure that they are healthy enough to fly. You need to check with your chosen airline, too, about the restrictions and requirements they have regarding traveling with pets.
In addition, proper identification and special health certificates are needed when traveling with your pet, so make it a point to have those prior to flying.
Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling with Your Pet
What do I need when traveling with pets?
You need medications, rabies and vaccination certificates, diapers, extra food and water, a leash, and their favorite toy.
What are some tips when traveling with my pet in the car?
When traveling with your pet in the car, ensure that they’re comfortable and safe and that they have everything they need, from medications to food. Also, take note that it’s not recommended to put your dog’s head out the window, no matter how cute that looks.
How old should my pet be traveling?
According to USDA regulations, dogs should be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned before traveling.
Should I travel with my pet?
Flying can be a stressful experience for pets. Your pet can only travel with you unless you’re permanently moving to another city, or taking a trip where you’ll be gone for a long time, minimum 2-4 weeks.