Traveling to a place for vacation or business can be stressful for us. We worry about the things we need to pack and the things we are leaving behind. We may check to make sure all our windows and doors are locked a few times before leaving, have a checklist for the things we are packing, and hope we don’t forget our wallet or tickets for the plane or reservation numbers. Travel can be stressful for pets too. For some pets, travel can bring out so much fear that it’s better to leave them home. Other pets love the car rides and get excited to explore new places. Keep in mind your pet’s level of stress as well as your own before planning a trip and checking that places allow pets.
If your next weekend getaway includes your pet, here’s some tips to make the trip safer and more fun:
1: When planning a trip, check that your pet is welcome to stay at your destination.
2: Take copies of your pet’s health records with you, including rabies certificate. If you’re traveling to another state, check the state’s requirements of health certificates needed so you can gather it all before you go.
3: Make sure your pet’s collar has all the tags on it and that they are secure. If your pet is micro-chipped and the tag has not been placed on the collar, put it on. If your pet gets lost, seeing the microchip tag on the collar if she’s found, will help get her back to you that much faster. Update any phone numbers or information needed for the tags.
4: Limit the amount of food you give your pet before the trip to avoid sickness.
5: Talk to your vet about any additional parasite preventatives needed if you’re going camping or to another state where different diseases may be more prominent.
6: Like children, pets should be secure in a car. Small dogs and cats should be in carrier or crates and larger dogs should have a seat belt harness.
7: Plan to stop every few hours while driving so your pet can alleviate itself and exercise a little. Cats need a small litter box placed in their crate or travel kennel but also need room to move around. You can make a small litter box out of cardboard or use the disposable roasting pans that can be found in a grocery store when on the road.
8: When traveling by air, check with the airline about the specific requirements for your pet.
9: Book nonstop flights so your pet doesn’t have to be moved around more than necessary and reduce the amount of stress she may feel.
10: Make sure the kennel for your pet allows her to move around, stand up, and that your pet fits comfortably.
11: Talk to your vet about any concerns you have regarding your pet’s health prior to travel.