All pet owners know how hard it can be to leave your pet behind when you head off on vacation. Luckily, traveling with pets has never been easier, thanks to a huge surge in pet-friendly destinations and travel options over the last few years.
However, while younger pets usually thrive on vacation, traveling with older pets can be a far trickier prospect. Older pets are far more sensitive, delicate, and require a lot more care and attention, not to mention the stress that travel can put on an animal.
But older pets are also far harder to leave at home alone while you jet off to the next exotic location! So unless you want to give up your vacation plans or your adventurous lifestyle, traveling with elderly animals is often a necessity.
Luckily, although it is a little trickier, with a little forward planning and a few careful adjustments, taking your senior furball along for the ride is totally possible!
So whether you are planning to head off cruising during the weekend or planning a long-distance overseas summer vacation, here are some of the dos and don’ts for traveling with your furry friend of advanced years.
Start planning early
Early planning and research is absolutely vital to ensure a comfortable trip for your pet. You’ll want to research the most pet-friendly airlines or accommodation you can find, and start preparing your pet for travel (crate training, health check-ups, etc) as early as possible. You’ll also need to make sure your pet is up to date with their vaccinations.
Pick the right time of day
If you are traveling in the summer, avoiding the heat of the middle of the day is one of the best ways to keep your pet comfortable, so travel early or late if possible. It is also worth building your travel plans around your pet’s normal schedule, to minimize the disruption for them as much as possible.
Bring the right medication
You can’t guarantee the quality of veterinary care at your chosen destination, so be sure to pack everything you need to keep your older pet healthy, and to provide for them in case of emergencies.
Pets often take their emotional lead from their owners, and have a real tendency to pick up on vibes. As a result, it is really important that you stay calm and relaxed throughout your journey. This will help your pet feel comfortable and at ease.
Ensure regular toilet breaks
Older pets tend to need more regular toilet breaks than younger animals, and will be less adept at holding on for longer periods. Make sure you fit in a good number of regularly spaced moments when they can do their business…and line the bottom of their crate anyway, just in case of accidents!
Your older pets will need plenty of water while on the move. In fact, federal law requires you to feed and offer water to your pet four hours prior to flight time, and give them water at least every 12 hours. But pets tend to drink less as they get older, and will find loading up on water then surviving for a longer period of time extremely difficult. It is therefore important to carry a water bottle and offer your pet small amounts of water at regular intervals, to make sure they are comfortable and hydrated.
Ignore your vet
Ultimately, when it comes to making the decision about whether your pet can travel with you, your pet should have the last word. They will be able to give you the best advice about the impact of travel on your elderly furry companion, so pay attention to what they say and don’t risk anything that they advise against!
Muhammad Ali: I began writing as a professional on my personal blog and then discovered my true calling, which is writing about technology, News and gadgets in general. I am a technical writer, author, and blogger since 2010. An industry watcher that stays on top of the latest features, extremely passionate about juicy tech news and everything related to gadgets.