When you are planning a trip, you have dozens of details to worry about. If you add a pet to the mix, those details may begin to feel overwhelming. Whether you are traveling for pleasure or moving to a new place, that does not mean you have to leave your dog, cat, or small animal behind.
Here are some tips to show you how to keep yourself and your pet calm and comfortable, no matter what distance or mode you travel. This information will help you and your pet navigate every phase of the journey, from planning and packing to boarding and feeding.
- Prepare for Your Journey
- Research the Pet Rules of Your Destination
- Contact A Specialist Pet Relocation Company
- Learn About Your Airline’s Pet Policy
- Prepare for Other Modes of Travel With Your Pet
- Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations
- Schedule a Pre-Trip Checkup With Your Veterinarian
- Prepare Your Pet and Pack the Essentials
- Watch Your Pet’s Diet
- Plan for Emergencies and the Unexpected
- Keep Your Pet Calm and Comfortable During the Journey
- Enlist in the Latest Pet Resources
Prepare for Your Journey
Pre-travel preparation is one of the most important parts of successfully traveling with or without a pet. By making the right plans, you can save yourself and your pet much discomfort or even trouble. Here are some key things you should do before you set out:
- Rehearse With Your Pet. If your pet has never been on a long journey before, get them ready by taking them on short drives and then increase the time gradually. Be sure to put them in their crate every time, so they get used to it faster. Take a walk around the airline terminal or station to get them familiar with the smells and sounds. Reward your pet for good behavior and talk reassuringly to them.
- Take a Relaxing Walk Before Boarding. It helps to let your pet walk or run around before boarding the plane, bus, boat, or train. See if there are any areas outside of the airport or station for a quick round of exercise. This will help both you and your pet expend excess energy and be more tired during the flight, which will make for a peaceful journey.
- Buy the Right Crate or Carrier. If you are buying a shipping crate for your pet, be sure it is IATA approved. Any crate or carrier should be large enough for your pet to sit, stand, and turn around in with ease. It should be secure enough not to slip around when the vehicle or plane moves or stops.
- Prepare the Crate for Comfort. Line it with absorbent bedding, like shredded bits of paper or cloth. Before you leave, freeze a small bowl of water, which will melt when your pet gets thirsty and will not spill during loading time. Close the crate securely but never lock it, so it can be opened for feeding or emergencies. Attach a bag of dry food or seed to the outside of the carrier or crate, so your pet can be fed during a long trip or layover. Last but not least, be sure to attach your pet’s identification to the crate to avoid misplacing them.
- No Crate, No Problem. If you don’t plan to use a crate in the car, be sure your pet rides safely with its head inside the window at all times. Keep pets in the back seat in a harness you can attach directly to the seat belt buckle.