Traveling can be stressful enough without adding pets to the equation. When you take your dog or cat on vacation, though, you’ll need a lot more than a neck cushion and a travel blanket to keep your furry pet comfortable on a lengthy voyage. In general, pets are accustomed to following set routines, and any deviation from that can be frightening for both the animals and you. Bringing Fido along on your trip, however, does not have to be a disaster. To prepare for your upcoming vacation, read up on these pet-friendly travel tips.
5 IMPORTANT TRAVEL GUIDELINES FOR PETS
1. BRING SOME HOME COMFORTS WITH YOU
Pets may be startled by the rapid shift in their environment, but by retaining some amount of familiarity, you may help lessen the disruption. Bring some of your pet’s favorite toys, food, bedding, and even the litter box (if it fits!), so they have a few familiar items to play with. It’s wise to keep all of these pet travel items close at hand during your trip—packing cubes can help you stay organized. The Pack-It Isolate Cube, which is treated with an antimicrobial ingredient to help neutralize odors, is ideal for any stinky goods, from old toys to delightful sweets.
2. MAKE USE OF A CARRIER
Both dogs and cats should be transported in carriers, according to the Humane Society. Cats, in particular, dislike traveling by automobile, but carriers reduce stress and keep them steady and safe. Don’t forget to secure the carrier with a seatbelt across the front to prevent it from sliding around.
3. RESEARCH POLICIES
If you’re flying, check the airline’s pet policy ahead of time. Despite the fact that it is the only way to transport animals on several airlines, the Humane Society strongly opposes transporting pets in the cargo hold for safety and stress reasons. Other airlines, on the other hand, permit the carriage of a small dog or cat in a carrier as a carry-on item. In addition to your carry-on, most airlines allow you to bring one personal item on board (that is, your pet!). Bring a smaller bag like the laptop-friendly convert brief to contain entertainment and refreshments for you and your pet—it has tuck-away backpack straps, a shoulder strap, and grab handles for easy transfer if your hands are busy with Fido!
4. MAKE MULTIPLE STOPS
Are you planning a road trip to one of these dog-friendly national parks or East Coast hikes? You might be able to drive for six hours without stopping but your pet is unlikely to be able to do so. Make frequent stops for toilet breaks, stretching, and fresh air if you’re driving with your dog. Cats don’t require as many stops but take a few brief breaks to let them get out of their carriers and walk around the car, as well as use the litter box.
5. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP PLAN
Although everything should go smoothly, it’s necessary to plan for the worst-case scenario in case your pet becomes ill or gets lost during your trip. Make sure your pets’ ID tags are on and that you have a few images of them on your phone. Carry their medical records and a first-aid kit with you in case of an emergency. (Your veterinarian can help you decide what to include.)
There’s nothing left to do but enjoy your vacation once you’ve adequately prepared, including packing all of your pet’s travel requirements. Take on the road with your four-legged best friend and create some memories.