Owning a pet is a uniquely rewarding and satisfying experience, but pets can complicate certain situations. When it comes to travel, pets either love it or hate it. Find out how to make traveling with pets a more pleasurable experience for both of you.
A car trip is a convenient way to travel with pets. Keep your pet comfortable and feeling secure on your next trip with these sensible tips:
- Carrier—Whether it’s a quick trip or a lengthy one, planning is key in successful pet traveling. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends you keep your pet in a crate or carrier during car trips. Be sure the carrier is well ventilated with plenty of airflow. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to turn around and lie down in. Be sure to familiarize your pet with the carrier before the trip.
- Feeding—Timing is everything, especially when it comes to car trips and bathroom breaks. You can help solve potty problems in advance by starting your pet off with a light meal a few hours prior to the trip. Avoid feeding your pet in the car during travel.
- Supplies—Your pet is happiest with familiar things. Bring along a travel kit with travel papers, food, bowls, poop scoop, brushes, pet meds if applicable, a pet first aid kit, favorite pillow, blanket and toy, as well as plastic bags for garbage and waste.
Traveling by air is exciting. You can also get nervous and tense when trying to remember everything you need to bring and do for the trip. Your pet probably feels the same way. Air travel tips are similar to car traveling tips with a few unique features.
- Cargo—Your pet is not cargo, but if traveling by air, your pet may be stuck checking in as cargo. If your pet is small enough to fit in a take-on bag and that can be placed under your seat, this is the best option. The ASPCA doesn’t recommend flying pets any other way.
- Flight—If you must fly your pet, be sure to book as short and direct a flight as possible to avoid chances that your pet will be stuck on the tarmac or mishandled by baggage employees.
- Crate—The crate is important in air travel. Write the words “LIVE ANIMAL” on the crate in large letters and affix a photo of your pet to avoid mix-ups. Tape a plastic bag with dry food on the outside of the crate for personnel’s easy access to feed your pet on long trips. You may even wish to freeze water in a water bowl to include in the crate. It won’t melt until needed, minimizing spills and giving your pet a fresh sip of water during the trip.
Remember that advanced planning is the best way to prepare you and your pet for the ups and downs of travel. Consider the type and length of travel when planning trips with pets. Check on the animal often and give pets lots of love once you’ve reached your destination.