Traveling can be incredibly time consuming and stressful. Throwing a pet into the fray can start to make it feel like it’s just too much. Now, you not only have to worry about everything you do, but you have to worry about everything a live animal does on public transportation. Whether it’s a vacation with your furry friend, or you have to move far away, to bring your pet on a trip that big can be difficult. We love pets and know how important they are to the family. We know the challenges of figuring out how to travel with pets, so here is Smartland’s Guide To Traveling With Pets.
Before your trip even begins there’s quite a bit you need to do to prepare your pet for extended travel. The first thing you should do is go to the vet for a checkup. Make sure your pet is fully healthy, has a full stock of any medication it may need, make sure they’re up to the health requirements of your destination, and get any bug preventions and vaccines it needs. You should also make sure your pet has a traveling crate that it is comfortable in and is familiar with. This means you may need to practice.
Before you go anywhere, rehearse traveling with your pet. Make sure they’re familiar with their crate, can handle extended car rides, and will be comfortable around other people. Also, make sure you have your pet’s ID, your contact information and any required documents well ahead of time. Finally, remember to pack well for your pet. Extra food, treats, toys, and a water bowl are all great things to have during a long trip.
If you and your pet are traveling by car, there are many things you can do to make it a more pleasant experience for both of you! First, do some practice drives. Start them off with short trips and work your way up to longer and longer periods. This way, they’ll be comfortable with the car and can behave longer.
Remember some safety tips for your pet in the car too. It’s best to not let them wander while driving. Securing them in the back is your best option to keep them safe. Also, make sure all paws and snouts stay inside the vehicle at all times. Be sure to make plenty of pit stops so your pet can get exercise and remember to NEVER leave your pet unattended in a vehicle.
When traveling by plane, you need to take extra steps for your pet and extra research into what airlines require. The first thing is to check your airline’s pet policies to be sure you’re going with the proper airline. Try to avoid the cargo hold and make sure your pet is in the cabin with you. Animals 20lbs or less is the usual size limit.
Try to get your pet to the airport before your actual trip so they can familiarize themselves with the environment, noise, and people. It will make the trip easier. Always avoid busy travel times if traveling with an animal. The fewer people, noise, and chaos, the better the experience. Make sure to take your pet out for a walk just before boarding. This way they can take care of business and expend some energy before getting onto a flight for a few hours. Never use tranqs to calm your pet down for a flight and make sure you have extra everything for them. Air travel can already be hard or scary for a pet so make sure you find the best airlines to travel with pets on.
Airline Policy Links
Buses and Trains
Ask ahead if the train or bus allows pets. Some allow pets for all rides, certain routes, or none at all. However, it is important to note that service animals are allowed on every bus and train. One popular passenger train that allows pets is Amtrak. Amtrak travel with pets will only run you about $25 and your pet should weigh 20 pounds or less in a crate.
Other than that, you really only need to worry about behavior. Make sure your pet is comfortable on a vehicle and with other people. Feed them a light meal beforehand to avoid motion sickness and give them plenty of exercise at every rest stop.
When planning a trip, the destination prep is as important as the pre-travel prep. Make sure you understand the pet laws of where you’re going or where you’ll be staying. Some places have stricter or looser laws when it comes to pets, so knowing if your pet is even allowed is the first step. It’s typically easier if your pets are dogs and cats since they’re the most common. Next, some places require certain vaccinations, a health certificate, or medical records. Having those ahead of time can make the process run much more smoothly. Finally, ensure you have access to pet-friendly housing or hotels.
If you still have concerns about traveling with your pet, there are many different pet resources you can use to help make sure you and your fuzzy companion stay worry-free. Things like pet trackers and phone apps can help you always keep track of your pet even on the off chance they get lost while out and abroad. You can also get ID tags with your names and your home address. Pet insurance is also a major plus. The tags will help differentiate them from feral or street animals and the insurance can be handy if your pet gets into mischief or if the worst should happen.
Overall, traveling can be just an all-around stressful situation. We hope that this handy guide will be able to take some of that off your shoulders as you travel with your pet. You should never have to leave them home if you don’t want to!