Preparing Pets for Travel

Pets like vacations too!

Are you a weekend warrior who likes to take trips for adventure and fun?  Or, are you someone who travels more than you would like to for work?  Have you considered inviting your pets to join you for comfort and companionship?  Bringing your pet along can help remedy homesickness and make your trip more fun.

Preparation is the key to fun and safe traveling with pets

Traveling with a pet takes planning and preparation. Otherwise, bringing your pet could become a huge inconvenience.  Be prepared for your sake and theirs and you will both have a great time.

Do you have a dog or cat, bird or reptile?  Are they large or small?  Are they comfortable in a crate? Do they have a favorite toy, bed, or blanket, that will help comfort them while enduring the change of routine on the road?  Dogs and cats are creatures of routine.  Bring things that are familiar to them and keep to their schedule as closely as possible.  That will help them adapt easier to a strange new place rather than get stressed out about all the changes.

Small animals are much easier to accommodate for a trip than say, a Great Dane.  Dogs and cats that are under a certain weight can even be carried on to the flight with you, rather than having to be relegated to the cargo hold down below.

What accomodations does your pet require to travel in?

When preparing your pet for travel, make sure you have the appropriate carrying case or leash for their safety.  Airlines have specific requirements for pet safety.  If you are bringing a larger pet that will be in the cargo hold, make sure it is an airline approved crate or kennel that will be sturdy, safe and comfortable for your pet.  By the way, never ever give pets sedatives that will be traveling in the cargo hold of a plane or ship, if they won’t be monitored by you or another human being.  You may think this will ease their anxiety.  But, it could be dangerous if they have an adverse reaction to the medication.

To be safe, just say “No” to drugs for your pet while traveling.

If they need something for an upset tummy or anxiety, try a natural remedy alternative instead. Even then, try options out several times at home with your pet before your trip, to observe their reactions before medicating them for travel.

Check with the airlines to find out what they require for your pets to travel.

Preparation is the key for a safe and happy traveling experience with pets!  Keep in mind that airlines require a health certificate from your vet that shows they are healthy enough to travel.  That means making the time for a visit to your vet in time for your trip.

Make sure to remember any medications, special foods, supplements and treats your pet may need, as well as their favorite comfort items.  Your pet’s grooming needs are something else to consider.  Do you have a furry friend who needs brushing everyday or a pet that has special needs, such as a bird or reptile that may need a special diet?

Remember what they need at home and bring it with you.

Perhaps the easiest and most efficient way to prepare your pet for travel is to walk through your daily pet care routine at home before your trip.  Take notes on all the items that will be needed while you are away.  Bring everything they need as if you were going camping in the wilderness where there are no stores. Be prepared for anything. That way all you can focus on fun with your pet and enjoy your pet travel adventure together.


Deborah Brightstar 2012©

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