Stress-Free Travel Tips For Pet Owners
Now that summer is here, travel plans are in full swing! I've been so inspired by my BFF's crazy summer with her new job AND 2 moves that I've been writing more blog posts recently offering tips and advice. Between the two of us, we have 3 dogs, travel frequently across state lines, and have moved at least 5 times in the past year. There are SO many details to think about when lining up a trip, especially if your furry friend will be along for the ride. Whether it’s a leisurely vacation or moving to a new place, you can do prep work to make the journey easier for you and your pets. Enjoy these tips below, adapted from Boo Larsen, General Manager & Vice President of Veterinary Profession, CareCredit.
1. Prepare Your Pet
Practice taking rides or spending time in a carrier will help your pet feel more comfortable when the trip actually takes place. Consider microchipping your pet and make sure their contact information is current. A collar with contact information is also a necessity. We opted for a tagless dog collar when we moved to New York, which can purchase from Etsy here. If your pet is traveling in a crate, consider taping the information on the collar to lessen the chance of tags getting caught.
2. Plan Ahead
Research the pet rules for your destination. If you’re traveling by air be sure to check the specific airline policy. Hotels and campsites may also have certain restrictions or accommodations for your pet. We usually choose to stay in Marriotts because both Courtyards and Residence Inns allow pets - plus the staff is always more than friendly to Winston and they usually have treats!
When it comes to meals, make sure you have enough food and fresh water to last the duration of the trip as well as serving bowls, like these portable travel bowls. Winston usually doesn't eat a lot when we travel because of all the excitement, but he's always thirsty so these bowls are awesome to have handy - and they are collapsible!
Make sure the medications your pet is taking will last the entire trip as it may be difficult to get refills on the road. Pets also might be frightened or confused during travel. Bringing items such as blankets and toys that remind him/her of home may help ease anxiety. We always keep at least one of Winston's blankets in the car even though he never gets anxiety, but I think it helps him sleep and it gives me peace of mind knowing he is comfortable. Here are soome great options for travel blankets:
3. Know The Regulations
Traveling across state or international borders requires a health certificate. Some locations require more information, which may take time to accomplish. Be sure to check with your veterinarian well in advance of the trip to know what to expect. A check-up is always a good idea because there may be vaccinations or preventive medications that are needed before traveling.
4. Safety First
The safest way for your dog or cat to travel via car is in a crate that has been
anchored to the vehicle using a seatbelt or other secure means. Seat belts for dogs keep
the dog from roaming but do not reliably protect them in a crash. Airlines also have
guidelines on what carriers are allowed both in the cabin and in the cargo hold. Cargo
holds are especially dangerous for pets due to variations in temperature so check with
your veterinarian about any safety precautions to consider.
Winston is really good about sleeping when we go on road trips, but if you have a nervous dog or a dog that likes to roam around a lot, check out these great travel crates to ensure your dog stays safe during the ride.
5. Have A First Aid Kit
Along with your pet’s regular medications, and a brief medical history, it’s a good idea to have a kit packed for emergency situations. There are many items that can be included but you should at least have some gauze (can be used as a muzzle if necessary), non-stick bandages or towels and adhesive bandages. Make sure your veterinarian’s phone number is save in your phone in case of emergencies. No matter how much you prepare, there is always the possibility that your pet will become accidentally injured or develop an unexpected illness, prompting an unplanned trip to
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