Are you one of the many pet owners who travel with your pet? Or are you thinking about taking a trip and including your pet? If so, a little planning and advanced preparation before you leave for your vacation can make sure your entire trip remains pet friendly from start to finish.
Is Your Pet a Good Candidate for Travel?
One of the first things to do is to consider your individual pet. If your pet is fearful or anxious about unfamiliar objects and situations, you may want to reconsider whether including him in your travel plans is in his best interest.
You should also take steps to prepare your pet for things that he may encounter and need to tolerate on the trip. For instance, if your trip will require your pet to be in his carrier for extended periods, make sure your pet is comfortable in his carrier. Start early, before your trip, to get him accustomed to the carrier. If you are staying in a high-rise hotel, make your pet is used to going on and coming out of elevators.
Make Sure Your Travel Destinations Are Pet Friendly
If you are planning on staying on hotels, motels, campgrounds or other public locations while you are traveling, make sure they are pet friendly. In addition, make sure there are no restrictions on the size, breed or species of animal allowed.
Traveling by Airline with Your Pet
If you are planning to travel by airline, check with the airline to find out what requirements are necessary for travel. Most airlines require a health certificate to be issued for your pet, and there are requirements regarding the size and type of carrier used for your pet as well.
If your pet is small, he may be able to travel in the airplane cabin with you and his trip will be safer. If your pet is large enough that he cannot travel in the cabin, you may want to consider an airline such as Pet Airways that specialize in safe air travel for pets.
Before You Travel with Your Pet
Before you travel with your pet, make sure your pet is up-to-date on his vaccinations, particularly his rabies vaccine. Carry your pet’s medical records with you in case you need to provide proof of vaccination.
Identification for your pet is necessary also. A microchip is a good idea, but even if your pet is microchipped, he should have some form of identification that is readily visible, such as a tag on his collar. Be sure to include a telephone number where you can be reached while on your trip.
Carry a photograph or two of your pet also that can be used on posters in the event that your pet becomes lost while you are traveling.
When you pack for your trip, include food for your pet and any other special items he might need. Dogs will need a leash and collar or harness. Cats will need a litter box and kitty litter. If your pet requires medications, be sure to take those with you as well. Don’t forget your pet’s medical records in case of emergency also.
Photo courtesy of Pet Airways