Traveling can be stressful, even more so if you have your pet with you, but it doesn’t have to be all bad. As long as you carefully plan and prepare, traveling with your furry companion can be a fun and memorable experience. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of tips to ensure your trip with your pet goes as smoothly as possible.
Before making any decisions about your trip, it is important to do your research and familiarize yourself with any rules or regulations that may apply to your pet. Depending on your chosen mode of transportation, there may be restrictions based on your pet’s size, breed, health, etc. For instance, you may need to buy an approved shipping crate or carrier if traveling by plane. Obtain any necessary documents or records required for your trip.
Taking a trip to the vet before you travel is crucial to ensuring your pet is comfortable during their journey. Discuss any health concerns and your travel plan with the veterinarian, and heed any advice given to your pet. Make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations and meets the necessary criteria for your trip. If needed, discuss behavioral management techniques and any additional treatments your pet might need while on the trip. *A pet should ALWAYS be microchipped before traveling*
Pack the Essentials:
Pack all of your pets necessary items to guarantee they are comfortable on the trip. This includes food, leashes/harnesses, water, a comfortable crate, bedding, and any toys with familiar scents to lessen their anxiety. You should also bring waste bags and portable bowls for them to use during breaks. Properly identify the crate your dog is in to avoid any trouble or miscommunication while traveling. If you are flying, put a label on your pet’s crate beforehand that says “Live Animal” and includes your name, number, and photo of your pet.
- Take Breaks Often- If you are traveling by car, it is important to let your pet take breaks every hour or so to let them stretch and relieve themselves. This can also help reduce anxiety.
- Apps – Using dog apps to help you while you’re on the road can relieve some of your stress. BringFido and Pet First Aid by the American Red Cross are great apps to keep you prepared.
- Photo – Keep a photo of you and your pet on you at all times in case of an emergency. You should also put your number and identification on their collar in case they get lost.
- Manners – Before going on your trip, try to teach your pet some tricks and calls. Even basic commands like sit, stay, and recall can prevent a bad situation.
Traveling with Fido does not need to be a negative experience. As long as you follow these essential tips, you can create a stress-free trip for you and your pet. Remember to plan, prepare, and enjoy! Similarly, if you are going on a trip without your furry friend, check out our article on Pet Sitting vs. Boarding to find out what options work for you and your family.