Some individuals can’t imagine going on a vacation without bringing their beloved pet, with 95% of pet owners planning to go on a trip with their pet at least once. Although some pets don’t mind traveling, many find it stressful, especially if you aren’t prepared to handle their needs. Planning early on can ensure the journey is safe and comfortable for you and your pet.
Whether you’re traveling with your furry friend for leisure or necessity, you’ll need to take care of a few things to ensure you can handle their unique needs along the way.
That said, here are some ways you can make the trip safer and more comfortable for your pet.
Check with Your Pet’s Vet Before Traveling
Pets who had health issues in the past or are currently suffering from one aren’t the best candidates for travel. Plus, your furry friend may need additional vaccines and health certificates to travel depending on your destination and meet the standards of a transport service for your pet if you’re moving them across states.
Your pet’s vet can help determine what additional steps you need to make to help make your pet feel comfortable throughout the trip.
Practice “Traveling” with Your Pet Before the Trip
Although some pets may find it fun and comfortable going on quick drives, long road trips are another matter. An efficient way to ensure your trip goes smoothly is doing some “practice runs.” You can take your pet on a longer ride than usual while having them sit where they would during the trip and make any necessary adjustments along the way. It’s best to do this at least a week before the actual trip.
Keep Your Pet Restrained During the Trip
It isn’t safe for your pet and the passengers if they’re hopping around the vehicle during the trip, especially if you’re the one behind the wheel. You’ll need to focus on driving ahead, and your pet may distract you if they keep running around the car. That’s why you need to restrain your pet while traveling.
The safest and most comfortable way you can let your pet travel is by placing them in an adequately sized carrier strapped to the seat.
Pack a Complete Travel Kit for Your Pet
When traveling with your pet, you’ll need to pack a complete travel kit for them, including their regular food, water, medication, food bowl, toys, health records, and proof of recent immunizations. Also, bring items that can help you clean up after your pet, like waste bags and a scooper, making the entire trip more comfortable for you and your pet.
Spare Some Time for Play and Potty During the Journey
Part of the fun in road trips is the fun stops along the way. Like how you would rest to keep yourself in the best condition to drive for long trips, stopping every 2 to 3 hours is ideal for your pet as it gives them the chance to stretch and relieve themselves. Make sure to bring your pet’s favorite toys and take a few minutes to play with them to make the whole journey more fun and comfortable for your pets.
When Traveling by Air, Know the Rules Beforehand
Regardless of your destination, there will be regulations and fees associated with flying with a pet, whether they’re a cat or a snake. Some airlines may allow passengers to bring pets into the cabin, while some don’t. Additionally, not every airline company has the same track record for safely transporting pets traveling in cargo.
That’s why you must research the airlines you’re considering before flying with your pet. You can find information on the airline’s official website regarding pets and travel, but it’s best to consult with a representative to ensure you know the procedures involved.
Expend a Bit of Your Pet’s Energy Before Traveling
Allowing your pet to break a sweat and deplete their energy before going on the trip is ideal. Doing this gets rid of your pet’s nerves, tiring them out for extended drives or flights. There are several reasons why physical activity is excellent for your pet, and one is that it can help them become more well-adjusted against new stressors like long trips.
Several studies discovered that pets that were less physically active before the trip got more scared and erratic than those who had weekly training and other activities. Increasing your pet’s physical activity days leading up to the trip can make the whole traveling experience better for all involved.
Taking pets along with you when traveling involves making a few more adjustments, but it’s definitely worth the adventure—and following the tips mentioned can make the process easier, ensuring your pet stays comfortable, happy, and safe during the trip.