Travelling Tips With Your Pet by Jacqueline Valencia
As things start opening up under a year and a half of the pandemic, thoughts of travelling have surely entered everyone’s minds. It is also worthy of note that many people now are new pet owners! Thus, many pet parents will have various options of what to do with their cat or dog if they do travel. There are pet hotels, and family members that people you can rely on to pet sit while you are away. But if you can’t bear to be without your furry friend, you have the excellent option of taking your pet with you.
There are few things to consider though if you want to make your fuzzy friend’s trip comfortable and enjoyable for the both of you. Here are a few tips.
Get your cats or dogs comfortable with their carriers. They will be used for sleeping, relaxing, and pets benefit from having somewhere to go that is familiar to them with their favourite toys and blankets. Therefore, you should also make sure carriers are secure and belted in. Also, get your pet used to being in the car if you are taking them on a road trip. For cats you will need a litter box and some carriers do come with them inside. For dogs, make sure to time pit stops for their potty breaks. Dogs should also not be allowed to roam free in the car and should have appropriate restraints or seatbelts if they do. In fact, cats and dogs can be a distraction to drivers, therefore the carrier or a restraint is always best.
A good way to prepare your cat or dog for a journey in the car is to take them on short trips to get them used to various sounds. Animals are very sensory oriented and if you can get them accustomed to the air conditioner, the heater, the sounds of the ignition, and the many other things that occur in a car, the more successful your trip will be. Upkeep regular feeding and play time schedules with them too. Remember, the car will be like a second little home for your pet, so make sure you create an environment that does just that.
If travelling by plane or train, you need to do several things ahead of time. Make sure you visit the vet and have your pets vaccination records and everything they might need for a trip up to date. Ask the airline or trainline what their pet policies are, whether you can take a carrier beside you or if your pet needs to go in the cargo area. For either of these events, make sure the carrier has enough ventilation and room for your pet to move around in. Some airlines require a certain kind of carrier, so ask all the questions before you book your trip. Label your carrier heavily! Many pets get lost while travelling long distances (make sure to have a current photograph of your pet with you), and travelling direct is the greatest option to prevent that.
The number one rule though, no matter where you go with your pet, is make sure to do your research. Don’t assume everywhere and everyone is pet friendly. Call hotels, resorts, and temporary rentals ahead of time to make sure it is safe to bring your pet with you. Keep your cat or dog close to you wherever you are if you choose to share your travelling experiences with them. There are a plethora of ways you can carry them with you (small pet friendly backpacks, for example), or get a good strong leash and show them the world in a way that they know you care about their safety first to share your enjoyment of travel with them.
Photo by Alice Davies on Unsplash
2. Photo by Andrey Kremkov on Unsplash