If you’re anything like us, we love being with our four-legged family members as much as possible. Taking them on vacation is a special treat. However, traveling can be stressful for both you and your pet. Here are some great tips to help you prepare and ensure that your trip is safe and comfortable.
1. Call your hotel in advance.
When booking your room, make sure you are clear with the hotel associate that you will be bringing your pet. Ask them if it is possible to have a room farther away from stairs, elevators, or other common area utilities. The potential for constant noise of foot traffic coupled with being in a new environment may make your pet uneasy.
2. Bring comfort items.
It's always a good idea to bring a few of your pet's comfort items. Comfort items include bedding that is theirs or clothing with your scent. Treats, toys, chews also make great comfort items.
TRAVELING BY CAR
The safest place for them is in a carrier, or crate that has been anchored to the car. Pets allowed to roam freely in a car while being operated can be a distraction to the driver and can cause an accident. Ideally, the carrier/crate should be placed in the back seat and have a soft bed inside.
4. Keep your head in the car.
We all know that dogs love to stick their heads out the window, however, for their safety, all pets should keep their heads and limbs in the vehicle.
5. Take a break.
Before embarking on a road trip, it's best plan out rest stops. Make sure to stop frequently and let your pet relieve themselves as well as stretch their legs and expel some pent up energy. Stops should take place at the minimumof every two hours of driving time.
TRAVELING BY AIR
6. Where are you flying?
There are many precautions to take prior to booking a flight with your pet. Different countries and even different states have very strict guidelines and restrictions for importing an animal. Be sure to consult a professional pet shipper and learn about your destination's guidelines.
7. Breed restrictions
Certain airlines will have breed restrictions for pets. The most common breed restriction are for breeds that have brachycephalic, short, pushed-in snouts (eg. pugs, boxers, bulldogs). Their short nasal passages increase their chances of suffering heat stroke or oxygen depravation in stressful situations.
8. Be careful with sedatives
Sedatives may seem like a good idea when bringing a pet on an airplane, however, many airlines strictly prohibit sedatives. Their reasoning is that a pet under heavy sedation may lack the ability to pant and become overheated more easily.
9. When possible choose the cabin
If you have to travel with your pet by plane, ask the airline if your pet can accompany you in the cabin. Most airlines will allow this if your dog or cat is small enough. You may need to pay an additional fee and call the airline well in advance. Be sure your pet fulfills the size requirements.
10. Going Through Security
Your pet will need to go through the same security procedures as you do. Make sure that your pet has a collar with name tag, and a leash incase you are asked to open your pet's crate.