Travelling can be stressful for many, especially if you take into consideration the changing time zones, the climate, the scenery change, and the long road. All of these factors are enough to make us unsettled, not to mention our pets. There are those times when the pets need to accompany us on trips and that requires us to make the travel arrangements in advance. Each mode of transport has its own unique characteristics.
If you are bringing your pet along with you on your trip, you need to ensure that the conditions of travel are comfortable for your pet. It might get challenging to travel with your pet along, so read this article to find out how you can make this process simple and enjoyable.
Required Items For The Travel
Before you plan your trip, you need to assess if your pet is physically in a good condition and healthy enough to embark on the journey. If your pet is suffering from a serious health problem, then it is best to leave it at home, the same should be done if the pet is too young or too old. If you have a breed of a pet that has a flattened face, such as pugs, Persian Cats, or bulldogs, traveling in an airplane can be very dangerous as they have a sensitivity to high temperatures and oxygen deficiency. So be sure to consult with your vet especially if this is the first time you wish to take your pet on an airplane
Then you will need to check if the place you are traveling to will permit the entrance of pets, as a few destinations have stringent rules regarding transporting pets. Hawaii, which is free of Rabies, imposes a 120-day quarantine for dogs and cats, while Uruguay forbids the import of birds of any type. Then there are some countries that ban the import of fighting breeds.
Bringing a first-aid kit is essential when you are traveling with pets. You should include gauze, ear drops, tweezers, a pet thermometer, antibiotic ointments, among other things for your pet in the first-aid kit. Consult with your vet to get a complete list of items to bring along on your trip.
It is a good idea to prepare your dog's snack toy before the flight. Put a few dog treats inside the toy and also a bit of water. Alternatively, you can use peanut butter instead of the treats. Most dogs love it, and it is suitable for your dog as well. After that, keep the toy in the fridge for a few hours or a day. You can leave the toy in your dog carrier or give it to your dog during takeoff. I think this is an excellent way to keep your dog's stomach happy while you are on the plane.
You also need to ensure that all documents are up to date and the required vaccinations are given prior to the trip. You will need to visit a vet about a month and a half before the trip where your pet will be given the required injections, chip, and a veterinary passport will be issued. You need to ensure that your pet is vaccinated no earlier than a year and no later than 30 days before your trip begins. The chip also needs to be implanted within 30 days at least.
Please check up on the requirements of the country you will be visiting with your pet. Some countries may have specific unique requirements so it is better to be informed from before. You will also need to check if your pet has any parasites before the trip and treat them for it if they do. Train your pet well before the trip as this will enable the pet to be patient in following your commands while on the trip.
You will be required to carry your pet in a crate so make sure that it is of the correct size to hold your pet comfortably and also get a sturdy one so that it can weather the trip well. You have to check the airline’s requirements regarding the size of the crate as well as its material, weight, and design. Putting identification information on your pet’s collar may be able to save its life in an unforeseen situation. So be sure to include info like your name, address, contact information, as well as rabies vaccination info in the collar.
Traveling By Car
One of the most convenient ways to travel with your pet is by car. You can easily create a favorable traveling condition and also be able to stop whenever required. There won’t be any strangers around to agitate your pet. But you do need to follow a few safety rules when traveling with your pet in the car.
If you are driving a station wagon, it is better to place the dog at the back of the car. Be sure to install a special partition to separate the passenger compartment from the trunk. You can also choose from a wide range of cages to house your pet for the wagon trunk. You can get a special rubber coating for the wagon floor so that the cage does not slip. Some cages can also be attached to the car seat when you travel with smaller animals.
The wire mesh of the cage allows your pet to look around while allowing enough ventilation. You can use special carriers to carry your smaller pets which you can mount to the seat. Use special harnesses or belts that are designed for road travel, allowing your pet to be safely carried in the back seat without getting suffocated or entangled. Stop every 3 hours or so to give your pet some water to drink so it doesn’t get dehydrated.
Traveling By Air
If traveling by air is the option you have gone for, some airplanes have pressurized cargo holds that are specially created to have the same conditions inside them as the passenger cabins. You also have the option to carry your pet with you in the passenger cabin, placing it under the seat in front of you. This might be the only way to transport your pet with you while traveling by air as many airlines will not allow you to place your pet in the hold below. The airlines will provide you with the carrier which you will put your pet in and place under the seat in front.
Most airlines require the total weight of your pet and carrier to be 20 pounds combined. It is best to always check with the airline before you confirm your ticket. Prior scheduling of at least 14 days in advance must be done of your pet’s travel with the airline. The cost will be anywhere between 100 to 200 Dollars for carrying your pet on the plane. It is more advisable to carry the pet with you in the cabin as this is an easier experience for the pet. Wherever you carry the pet, you will need to carry it inside a pet carrier. Many airlines will sell a kennel at the counter, be sure to check with the airline regarding this beforehand.
Be sure to vaccinate your pet for Rabies in advance, as without this most airlines will not allow you to carry the pet on board. Choose a direct flight as it will help you avoid the possibility of losing your pet in transfer. Clip the nails of your pet so they don't get hooked to the holes, crevice, or door of the carrier. Try to familiarize the pet with the carrier before the trip to avoid undue stress. Also, remember to not feed anything to your pet for several hours before the flight.
Traveling with our pets is always fun; you just need to implement the above tips and tricks correctly and make sure everything goes smoothly – from start to finish. Wish you a lovely journey, be safe and never leave your pet alone inside a vehicle to avoid dangers.
Josh Cobbe is a renowned animal trainer in Hollister California. Josh has been rescuing dogs for a long time and hundreds of dogs have been sheltered already by him and his organization. His main focus is re-homing shelter dogs as family pets with proper training.