Many people cannot imagine their lives without pets. They are like family members and the house simply feels empty without them. Indeed, there are so many good reasons we are keeping pets: they boost our immunity, keep us in shape, protect us and above all, they are always next to us like a loyal companion. Therefore, it is no wonder we want to take them along on our travels and make unforgettable memories together. There are few things as heartwarming as a selfie together with your puppy at a faraway destination, but before you start packing, there are a few considerations when it comes to pet travel. The safety and well-being of your furry friend are of the utmost importance, so you have to prepare properly, educate yourself and make informed decisions. Here are a few pieces of advice on travelling with pets.
Should you take your pet along?
First and foremost, you have to consider whether you should take your pet with you on your trip in the first place. Some pets are okay with travelling, while others are better off staying at home for their own sake. For instance, your dog is more likely to enjoy this adventure than your cat. Still, you have to keep your pet’s physical condition in mind, too, not just your and their preferences. For instance, if your dog is old, not used to travelling, or doesn’t like crowds, they would get too stressed by this event. Travelling is stressful even for us, and your dog might not understand what’s going on.You certainly don’t want to put their health at risk this way. Untrained dogs are also risky to take along. Unless you have no choice, sometimes, leaving them in the care of a pet sitter is a better idea.
Visit your vet
To make sure that your pet is ready to take on the trip, a vet visit is in order. This is not only to make sure that your pet is in good health; for international travel, your pet’s vaccinations must also be up to date. Make sure that you research the rules and regulations of your destination when it comes to pet travel, as the necessary tests and paperwork vary from country to country. Don’t forget to inform your vet about where you’re heading, too. Don’t leave this visit to the last minute as some vaccinations need to be done well before you plan on leaving the country. To be safe, you should keep the contact information of your vet at hand, in case an emergency occurs.
Make sure your pet is wearing identification
Whether you’re heading to a foreign country or just a nearby resort, your pet needs to have appropriate identification at all times. You don’t know the area well and how your pet might react to the surroundings, so no matter how well-trained they are, they might get distracted by something and wander away against your command. In this case, identification is a lifesaver. Make sure your dog has a collar and look up dog ID tags that will contain all your important information. Besides a tag, you also want your pet to have a microchip. In fact, most countries require this step if you want to bring in your pet. The microchip will contain an identification number, which will help track your pet back to you if you have registered your contact information. In this sense, the microchip has the same function as an ID tag, but it’s safer to have both. The microchip is inserted under your pet’s skin by your vet, so this is another reason to visit them before you hit the road.
Shop for equipment
Just like you shop all the necessities for yourself before a trip, you’ll also have to make a shopping list for your pet. First of all, get a strong and reliable carrier for them if they don’t have one. Make sure it is approved by your airline (if you’re flying) and that your pet is comfortable in it as they will spend a lot of time in it. If they are not really used to being in a small, enclosed space, train them the weeks leading up to the trip. You will also need basic equipment like a harness and a leash, a water bowl, waste bags and a dog bed. If you can, bring something that your dog is used to so that they will feel calmer thanks to the familiar object.
Consider the mode of transport
When travelling with a pet, this is one of the most important factors to consider. Air travel is generally not recommended unless you can take your pet with you into the cabin. However, if flying is inevitable and your pet is too big to fit under the seat, transporting your pet in the cargo is also possible with ample preparation. It’s important that you steer clear of hot and cold weather and go for direct flights as transfers can be extra stressful for pets. Make sure you are familiar with all the policies of the airline when it comes to pet travel and inform them that you are taking your furry friend along even before booking your flight. Travelling by car would be the most ideal for your pet, so for shorter distances, this is recommended. You can stop whenever you want, and you can comfortably take all the equipment your pet needs, including food. However, don’t let your pet roam in the car as that is extremely dangerous. Keep them in their crate while you are driving. All in all, there are safety considerations you need to take seriously whatever means of transport you are going for.
When it comes to travelling with pets, you have to make adjustments while organizing the details every step of the way. From taking your pet to the vet all the way to finding pet-friendly accommodation, there is a lot to do to make sure your pet will be able to safely enjoy this trip.Even when you have arrived at your destination, you have to stay vigilant and responsible (not feeding your pet unfamiliar foods, not letting them wander off, etc.). However, in the end, it will all be worth it for the memories you will make together.
Maggie Holmes is a passionate blogger keen on writing about renovation, design, fashion, technology and travel. Her exclusive hobby is to surf the net to find amazing articles that can inspire her with some fresh ideas for article writing. She loathes being a common person who wastes her time. Follow her on Twitter.