If you’re taking your pet on the road with you, keep in mind the fact that it can be a bit of an ordeal for them. Unlike taking kids on a journey, you can’t explain to them how much longer the trip is and give them an iPad to keep them entertained. On top of that, it is important that you take some safety measures to make sure that your pet doesn’t come to any harm, even on longer journeys.
What You Need to Know Before Traveling With Pets
Traveling long distances with pets is not a decision to take lightly. Consider whether it is necessary to uproot your cat or dog. For instance, you might decide to take your pet to a holistic animal hospital which involves traveling a long way. The benefits could outweigh the potential risks of travel and be good for your dog in the long run.
Likewise, if you are moving home, long-distance travel might be totally unavoidable.
Before traveling with pets, it is so vital that you do your research, especially with crossing borders. Airlines, train companies, and even border patrols will have their own rules regarding whether animals are allowed to travel. Some airlines will let you take a small pet in a carrier, some may only allow them to go in the baggage area.
What is the Safest Way to Travel With Your Dog?
Driving is preferable, with plenty of breaks for your dog’s comfort. The safest way to get your dog comfortable is to strap them in. A lot of people let their pet freely roam around the vehicle but this can increase the chances of them getting hurt. For instance, if they are walking around and suddenly you make a turn. Strapping a dog in will keep them securely in place and encourage them to settle and sleep.
If you are able to travel on the train, the benefit may be that your pet can have more of your attention, but you won’t be in charge of comfort breaks.
What are the Rules for Traveling With Pets
If you are crossing borders, it may be essential that you provide certain information about your pet. For instance, many countries employ “pet passport” systems. You may have to show some paperwork to prove that your dog or cat has been vaccinated against certain diseases when they enter a country. You may also need to take your pet to the vet before you go, as this will prove that they have been looked over and given the all-clear.
Whenever you book tickets, check that you are allowed to take your pet with you. Likewise, if you are going a long distance, you also need to check the rules about crossing borders with your animal friends. Rules vary from one location to the next.
Top Safety Tips for Traveling with Your Pet
What are the top safety tips to ensure your pet is kept safe and secure while you travel?
- Plan ahead. Always plan your routes, rest stops, and check any documentation you might need.
- Get your pet adequate restraints. Cats always need to go within a carrier, as they are not likely to be tame enough to settle in one area. They’re also easily spooked. Dogs should be restrained, too. You get restraints that work with the seatbelt of your vehicle.
- Take an emergency kit with you. This means a first aid kit, food and water, and medication that your pup might need. Our pet grooming wipes are also a great on the go option for quick clean-ups for your pup (and yourself if needed). It’s also a really good idea to take pictures just in case your pet goes missing or you are unable to explain to airline employees you are traveling with an animal.
- Always tell staff on public transport that you are traveling with your pet.
- Talk to your vet beforehand. There is always a chance that your pet might need some medication for the anxiety or stress of traveling. If you’re going a long distance, this is something to consider.
- Don’t let your pet ride with its head out of the window. It may look cute, but this can actually be a way for them to get injured by debris or even a tree branch near your car.
- If you need to go on a train or plane, you need to book well in advance and get permission to bring your pet with you. There may be additional costs. Last-minute travel is often really difficult if you are taking your pet with you, and there might not be tickets available.
- Wherever possible, keep a close eye on your pet while you travel and look for signs of anxiety. Comfort your pet, as this will help them with the change in routine. A toy that reminds them of home can also help no end.