Traveling With Your Pet
You Can Take them With You!
Although traveling with your pet for a long distance trip isn’t always easy, it can save a great deal of stress for pets and owners who experience separation anxiety. With a bit of extra planning and an eye towards safety, you can find ways to have a great travel experience without leaving your pets at home!
Before deciding to travel with your pet, make sure they will be welcome at your destination. Many destination areas usually offer an array of pet-friendly hotels, but it is always a good idea to research their pet rules before you go. If you are traveling to someone else’s home, make sure they are able to accommodate you and your pet by possibly providing a special pet-safe room or quiet space for everyone’s well-being. If they have pets of their own, make sure that all dispositions allow for having another animal in the house for a few days.
In any travel situation, there are a few additional things that you should always do. Always visit your veterinarian before your trip to make sure that your pet is up to date on all their vaccinations and that they are healthy for travel. Obtain a copy of your medical records for documentation to bring with you. Bring emergency contact information along in case you need it and make sure your pet is always wearing his/her collar with full identification and tags.
If you plan to travel by car, start early by spending some positive time with your pet in your vehicle so that they associate the vehicle with good things. Practice car travel by visiting fun places with your pet – dog parks, pet stores, hiking trails – and gradually increase the amount of time you spend on the road. Bring toys or items of clothing with your scent to help make your pet feel more comfortable. Try not to travel right after a full meal as some pets will experience nausea, and whenever possible, secure pets in the car with crates, carriers, and travel harnesses.
If you haven’t yet tried vehicle restraint options with your dog, there are some good reasons why you should. Just as seat belts protect drivers and passengers, a seat belt harness or booster seat (made specifically for pets) can help protect your pet from being thrown in the case of an accident or a short stop. A safety harness can also prevent your pet from rushing out of the vehicle when you open your doors and keep them from being hit by a car. A restraint system prevents your pet from nudging or distracting the driver of the vehicle, and keeps them from finding things to eat. For a great comparison of vehicle restraint options, check out this link:
Traveling by plane? Typically, all pets will need to travel as cargo in a carrier that is properly sized for your pet. Check with your selected airline for full details on the rules for pet travel before you purchase your tickets so that there are no surprises along the way.
Traveling with your pet adds a bit of extra work and planning, but can make your vacation a fun one for you and your family without leaving your pet behind. If you find that you prefer to travel without your pet, you can always schedule to board them with our team at Longview Animal Hospital!
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