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How To Travel With Your Pets
Traveling with a pet can be full of hassles and anxieties. While we don’t really want to leave our furry friends at home, but the stress associated with traveling with a pet can be difficult sometimes. The strict travel regulations, a small number of pet-friendly accommodations, and the extra care they need during travel – all these can add up to make your vacation stressful. However, if you have no alternative other than to take your pet with you, a proper planning before stepping out of your home and during the journey can really save your trip. Before making travel reservations for your pet, there are several things you should consider.
Following are a few tips that will help you travel with your pets while keeping the stress that comes along to a minimum.
Pack all the necessary items
Your pet’s comfort is very important, otherwise they can become anxious seeing the unfamiliar environment. Before leaving home, make sure you have packed all the necessary items your pet may need while traveling. These include pet bed and blankets for relaxing, food and fresh water, dishes, toys, collar, harness, any prescribed medications and leash. Also, don’t forget to carry a first aid kit for your pet in case of injury.
Get a health certificate
If you plan to take your pet across state or international boarders, a health certificate signed by your veterinarian may be required by border authorities, airlines, hotels, pet-care centers, and others. In most of the cases, you need to get your health certificate within 10 days of starting your trip. Make sure to research the specific requirements of your journey or destination before visiting the vet. This will help him include everything necessary in the certificate.
Get pet insurance
Many pet owners also opt for pet insurance to cover any expenses relating to accidents that affect the health of the animal. You can easily find a pet insurance plan online that suits your budget and the particular needs of your pet.
Car trips can be tiring as well as boring for your pet. So, if traveling by car to your destination, be sure to make frequent stops (about every two to three hours) to allow your pet time to exercise and go to the bathroom. Try to make the ride comfortable for it. To prevent injury to your pet while driving, restrain your pet properly with a vehicle harness or in a secured crate.
If traveling by airplane, check with the airline to find out if there are any restrictions on breed or size. Federal regulations require pets to be at least eight weeks old and to have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, or health certificate. Try to book a non-stop flight if possible, and avoid flying with your pet during busy holidays. If traveling by air, pets must be transported in a crate or carrier. Consider buying a well-ventilated crate in which your pet can comfortably sit, lie down, stand up, and circle around. However, it shouldn’t be too large as well, otherwise, your pet may get an injury due to too many movements.
Traveling by other mediums
If you decide to travel by train, boat, or bus, it’s essential to call ahead to ensure that the mode of transportation is pet-friendly. Have a pet carrier and/or harness and leash to prevent your pet from running off. For cats and other small animals, a covered litter box can be secured to the floor to allow your pet to relieve itself during the trip. Dogs can be taught to use a puppy pad, newspaper, or box of sod.
Find pet-friendly Accommodations
Many hotels and motels are pet-friendly and will accept your pet into designated rooms under certain guidelines. Since not all accommodations are pet-friendly, you will need to call where you’re staying and check the pet policy in advance. Make sure to ask certain questions such as: Are there additional charges for checking in with pets? Does the hotel have any size restriction for pets? Does the hotel offer any services for the pets? Are there any resident pets in the hotel? Are there any other restrictions? Asking all these questions will save you from any problem later on. You can easily search for pet-friendly hotels online and choose the one based on the ratings.
Safety of your pets is extremely important while you are on a trip. Pets should have identification tags attached to their collars with up-to-date information, including a phone number where you can be reached. It can be extremely beneficial to have your pet implanted with a microchip to help ensure that you get your pet back if it becomes lost or missing. There are also a number of GPS pet tracking devices that will alert the owner when the pet leaves a pre-designated area.
Traveling with a pet need not be a hectic experience always. With the right planning, preparation and a deep understanding of your pet’s needs, you can make your trip more relaxing and memorable than before. However, some pets are not able to handle long-distance travel due to injuries, illnesses, temperament, or age. If your pet is deemed not suitable for travel, consider leaving your pet with a reliable pet-sitter, at a boarding facility, or with your veterinarian.