Tails and Trails: Tips for Traveling with your Pet
Traveling is the perfect way to get away from life for a bit. Going on adventures, experiencing other cultures, and meeting new people is good for the soul. Whether it be a road trip or flying far away, it is always fun to have a travel buddy by your side. So why not bring your pet along with you?! Pets are a huge part of so many people's lives and it can be hard to leave them behind. If you are thinking about bringing your furry friend along on your next journey, here are some tips to get you there smoothly.
Gather Your Supplies
It sounds like an obvious statement, but taking the time to gather the right items for your vacation will make a world of difference when planning a smooth trip with your pet. Regardless of the mode of transportation, there are a few universal items you will need while traveling. Travel crates are a necessity when bringing your pet along with you, so you’re going to want to make sure your pet’s crate is in good condition and is the right size to keep them safe and sound. In addition to the crate, pets will need snacks and treats, so prepare to bring extra food and water for both layovers and long drives. You’re also going to want to bring the most comfortable and secure leashes or harnesses on the trip with you. Being in new places can cause pets to be a little more skittish than normal, so the right leash can ensure they are secure during walks and rest stops. Traveling can be both exciting and overstimulating for pets, so having the right equipment is absolutely essential to making sure your furry friend stays safe.
Don’t Forget your Documents
When traveling, it is important to make sure you have all your documents and I.D.s in order. It is second nature for most of us to check and make sure we have our passports, licenses, and/or visa cards. But it is just as important to make sure you also have the proper documents for your pet as well. This is especially true for anyone traveling internationally with their pet. Most countries have strict regulations on admitting animals, and it is suggested you reach out to an embassy or consulate to make sure you have the proper documentation and health requirements. Make copies of health records and prescriptions, and also make sure their tags have your most current contact information. Make sure these documents are easily accessible by keeping them in your glove compartment if you are driving or in your carry-on if you are flying.
See Your Vet
Another aspect to consider is the health of your pet. Your animal's health is always important, but when preparing for a trip it is critical to make an appointment with their vet before setting off on a long journey. A trip to the vet will make sure your cat or dog is healthy enough to travel, will allow you to check the status of their vaccines and microchip, and gather any documentation you need to bring with you. It is always a good idea to have health and ownership documents with you while traveling, you can also ask your vet how to use pet insurance if your animal has a health issue while you are away from home and needs to see another healthcare provider. A healthy pet is a happy pet, and you want them to have nothing but fun on their trip with you.
Be as Comfortable as Possible
When it is finally time to hit the road, you will want to make sure your pet is as comfortable as possible. Taking a little extra time to get your furry friend settled will help them feel safe and calm, ensuring that they don't become stressed out or overwhelmed. In the days leading up to the trip, have your cat or dog spend more time inside their crate and include comfort items like a favorite blanket or plushy to make them feel a positive connection to the space. Crates and harnesses are essential to keeping your pet safe in transit. If you are traveling by car, cats are much safer when crated for the duration of the trip. Dogs can either be crated or securely strapped into the back seat, but it is advised to not let them roam the car freely. On the day you leave, try not to feed your pet a large amount of food. Just give them small snacks along the way so the traveling doesn’t upset their stomach. Upset stomachs make any trip harder for both pets and people. While on the move, remember that animals are very in tune with the body language and emotions of those around them. Because of this, you want to do your best to be comfortable and relaxed too. Remember to play music low and try not to get flustered around your pet. Traveling is always stressful but the calmer you are the safer your pet will feel.
Have A Blast
When you finally arrive at your getaway, let your dog or cat explore the new environment and pick a quiet place for their crate so they have their own little home away from home. If you are staying with family or friends, get ready for your pet to meet their new roommates. Depending on your pet’s personality they can be shy or super excited, but you can feel good knowing that you got them there safely so your pet can enjoy the vacation. There are so many amazing adventures you can have with your companion. Look for pet-friendly beaches, festivals, and national parks. And with the rise of pet ownership across the country, more and more places are hosting pet-centric events. There are so many experiences to be had out there, and bringing a furry companion along makes for the best memories. From winter mountain escapes to warm sunny beaches, there are endless adventures to enjoy with your pet. Spending quality time with them creates a strong bond, so bring them along for a lifetime of love and fun.