With so many details to plan out when planning a vacation, you may need a little help when it comes to planning a vacation with your pet. There are several things you can do to help keep your pet calm and happy during your journey. Doing so will help to ensure a smooth journey for both of you as well as a more enjoyable vacation.
Familiarize Yourself With the Airline Policy Concerning Pets
Each airline has its own set of rules pertaining to traveling with pets. In addition, each airport could have their own particular rules, so it is advised that you try to get on a non-stop flight so as to avoid any layovers. Not only do layovers bring with them new airports and new rules, but also extra stress for you and your pet as leave one plane and board another.
When it comes to boarding the plane, you will want to know whether your pet can join you in the cabin or if they are considered to be cargo. Typically, smaller animals are allowed in the cabin area, while larger dogs and cats will need to be housed in the back. If you know the rules ahead of time, you can come prepared with your pet’s favorite food, an extra blanket to keep them warm, or their favorite comfort items, such as a stuffed toy or even your shirt.
Check The Pet Policies of Your Destination Country
Policies concerning pets vary by county, state, and country, and should be researched prior to your trip so that you are better able to comply with the rules of your destination. For example, when traveling with a pet in Canada, Dairn Shane from PreszlerLawBC.com advises that you bring along the pet’s license and immunization record, since some provinces require you to have them if you’re crossing their borders. While you should always consider researching the rules of the area you are visiting, it is especially important to do so concerning international travel. The last thing you want is to have your pet kept in quarantine upon arrival because you did not bring the correct documentation.
Schedule an Appointment with your Veterinarian
Prior to any travel, it is always a good idea to visit your veterinarian and make sure your pet is healthy, and all vaccinations are up to date. This could take a few appointments to do, so you should make your first appointment as soon as you book your plane tickets. For example, some countries will require blood work or vaccines to be completed at least six months prior to travel. If you do not comply, your pet could be held in quarantine upon arrival in your destination country.
In addition, you will want to be sure you have a good stock of any medications and flea or tick prevention before you leave. It is typically suggested that you have enough to last through your travel as well as an additional two to three weeks after you arrive home.
There are multiple products currently on the market today that promise to help your pet handle stress and anxiety. Things such as lavender oil could be sprayed in their carrier beforehand, or they could wear a calming vest. Any items your pet finds comforting, like a favorite toy, could also be helpful in this area.
Some additional items you will want to remember to include food bowls, medications, travel documents, treats, and anything you need to keep your pet under control, such as a muzzle or leash.
Practice With Your Pet
If this is the first time your pet will be on an airplane, it is important to get them used to being in a carrier or crate, whichever you will be using on the plane. One great way to do this is to put your pet in the carrier and take them for a drive, short at first and then lengthening as your pet becomes accustomed to the travel.
In addition, you could bring your pet to the airport a few times before your departure date so they can get used to all of the sights and smells. This way it will not be a completely new experience for them.
Be sure to reward your pet with a favorite treat and some cuddles for any good behavior you would like to have continued.
Prepare Your Pet’s Crate
You will want to be sure you buy a good size crate for your pet. He should have enough room to stand up and walk around, while also being sturdy enough to not shuffle around during turbulence. Any crate you use for air travel should be IATA approved.
When you have selected the right crate for your pet, make sure to prepare it with extra bedding for comfort. Another idea is to freeze a bowl of water beforehand so that it will continuously melt throughout the flight, providing your pet with water for the entire time he is contained. Be sure to remember extra food and toys.
Find a Hotel That Accepts Pets
It is important that you stay somewhere during your travels that accept pets. Not every hotel is accepting of pets, so you will want to perform a quick Google search prior to booking any hotels to easily find out which ones will allow your pet to stay with you. If you already have a particular hotel or resort in mind, a simple phone call can easily offer this information. It is important to do research on this beforehand so you do not find yourself stuck in a foreign country with nowhere to stay!
While it can be time-consuming to ensure your pet is well-cared for during your travels, doing so can ensure for a smoother flight and more enjoyable vacation for both of you. Following these simple suggestions can help to ensure your pet is happy, calm, and safe during your travels together. In the end, you know your pet the best and you will know how best to keep them happy.