4 Considerations to Keep in Mind When Traveling with Pets
Pets have become a big part of our lives, especially during the pandemic, when many of us were advised to stay at home. Now that travel restrictions are being lifted, you may be thinking about finally going on that trip you’ve put off for so long. If you’re a pet owner, it’s highly likely you’ll be bringing your beloved fur baby along on your travels, too. To ensure a safe and comfortable journey for you and your furry friend, here are some important considerations to keep in mind:
Not All Pets Are Used to the Idea of Travel
Months or weeks before your trip, you’ll first need to introduce or re-introduce the idea of travel to your pup. This is especially crucial if they’ve never really been in a vehicle before. If your pet doesn’t like being in confined spaces for long periods, you may need to spend more time helping them to get used to being in a car or carrier. Fortunately, there are many resources online that can teach you how to train your pup to behave during long trips.
To make the journey less stressful for them, you can try packing some of your dog’s comfort items, such as their favorite treats, some personalized dog blankets, and their most well-loved toys. Keep these items in a dedicated dog toy basket or bag so that they’re easy to find whenever you need to pull them out.
Not All Airlines Have the Same Policies Regarding Pets
If you’re planning to go by plane to your destination, make sure to look up which airlines allow pets on board. You should also check if they require any specific documents or fees for guests with animal companions. Airlines that allow smaller pets in the plane cabin will usually require the pet to be secured in a kennel with their own food and water for the entire duration of the flight.
There are also certain airlines that only allow service animals on board. If your dog isn’t a registered service animal, don’t try to pass them off as one. This is not only to keep yourself out of trouble but also something you should do out of respect to those who truly need their service animals with them for safety purposes.
Also, take note that emotional support animals are not the same as service animals. If your pup happens to be an emotional support animal, check if your airline of choice allows them onboard. Some airlines don’t accept them and categorize them as pets, while other airlines that used to accept emotional support animals may have stopped doing so.
Not All Accommodations Are Pet-friendly
Unfortunately, not all board and lodging services accept pets. So, months before your trip, do your research and check whether there are pet-friendly accommodations at your destination. If you find one, call ahead and reserve a room as soon as possible, especially if they’re the only pet-friendly hotel available. Because there aren’t that many of these establishments, demand for them tends to be quite high. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination only to find out that the only pet-friendly hotel in the area is already fully booked.
Some Pet-friendly Places Require Pets to be Fully Vaccinated
For health and safety reasons, certain pet-friendly venues may require proof that your pet has received the necessary vaccines such as those for rabies, parvovirus, distemper, and hepatitis. This is in the interest of keeping their staff as well as their human and animal guests alike from being exposed to any potentially life-threatening and contagious canine diseases. So, make sure to consult your vet regarding your pet’s vaccination record, and be sure to get your pup any vaccines they may be missing.
Updating your pet’s vaccinations is also a great opportunity to talk to your vet and get your pup a general check-up to ensure that they’re fit for travel. Should your pup have no issues, your vet can provide you with a health certificate for your pet. Bring this with you on your trip, as airline authorities may need you to present it during check-in or upon arrival.
We hope that you’ve found the list of tips above helpful as you prepare to go on a fun and memorable journey with your furry friend. Before you go, here’s one last piece of advice: remember that every pet may handle travel differently. For example, some pets may get easily anxious in unfamiliar vehicles, while others may be susceptible to motion sickness. So, you’ll need to determine what your pup’s specific needs are, as not all pet travel tips are one-size-fits-all.
Ultimately, the success of your trip rests on how well you’ve prepared and planned for it while accounting for your pet’s safety and comfort. As long as you do your research and check everything before you leave, you and your pup are certain to have a happy and positive bonding experience that you’ll remember years down the line.