Pet Travel Tips for Home and Abroad

| Do you own a pet? If you do, then we’re sure you’ll agree that they are a part of the family. For many, they’re even like a child, and the thought of leaving them at home while on vacation is not an option.

According to research by AAA and Kurgo, more than half of U.S. pet owners take their pets with them when they travel.

So, if you’re considering traveling with your pet, either domestically or internationally, you must make sure you research all the related rules and regulations before you organize your trip. Traveling with pets, without proper planning and preparation, can be a nightmare for both pet owners and pets.

Consider these pet travel tips to have a safe and smooth trip.

Check the Country Regulations In Advance

Many countries have strict regulations concerning international pet travel. Countries such as Australia doesn’t allow rodents while others don’t allow animals such as snakes, turtles and other species of animals. Some rabies-free countries such as New Zealand, Mauritius, Australia, and New Caledonia do not permit pets from high-rabies countries to enter. Contacting the embassy or local consulate of the country in advance will help resolve things before bringing your pet into the country.

Consult With a Veterinarian before Traveling

Some animals are not suited for travel due to illness, age or physical impairments. Therefore, it’s imperative to consult with a veterinarian about pet travel before embarking on a trip to ensure the safety of your pet. Even healthy pets require a variety of items before flying or longer road trips. Depending on your destination, your pet may need additional vaccines or health certificates to travel. Vaccinations such as rabies shots, deworming, and other essential care vary from country to country, so let your vet know which country you’re visiting to make sure all required shots are given. You’ll need to keep the paperwork with all the details of vaccinations and veterinarian care for your pet.

pet travel tips

Traveling Long Distances with Your Pet for the First Time? Practice makes perfect.

Many pets are comfortable riding around town in your car as these are often quick trips and often fun. However, long road trips or traveling overseas by air, train or ship can be an entirely different matter. Train your pet to either stay seated or lay down during longer rides. The best way to ensure your trip goes smoothly is to do some practice runs. Take your pets on a longer ride than normal. How they behave will give you an idea of how they’ll react to a real trip out-of-town.

Always Make Your Pet Wear ID, Especially While Traveling

Pets can’t speak for themselves. Safeguard them from the unthinkable. If your pets get lost on a trip with no ID, you should know there’s little to no chance of getting them back. Always keep their recent photo with you, in case they get lost. Also, invest the time to microchip and register your pet for easy identification. You should also equip your pet with a collar and imprinted tags with your name, contact number, and other relevant information.

pet travel tips

Acclimatize Your Pet to a Pet Carrier

Before traveling with pets, obtain a kennel or crate. They’re perfect to keep your pets safe while traveling by car, ship or plane. Available in different shapes and sizes, look for one with a leak-proof bottom covered with absorbent material. It should be durable and smooth-edged with opaque sides, a grille door, and numerous ventilation holes on each of the four sides. Select a carrier with a secure door and door latch. It’s wise to acclimatize your pet to the carrier in the months or weeks before your trip. Let them explore the carrier; place their favorite food inside and confine them to the carrier for short durations.

Pack Sufficient Food and Water for Your Pet’s Trip

Depending on how long the journey is, you may need to plan meals for your pets. Never feed your dog or cat right before or during a long car ride or flight. It’ll most likely upset their stomach, which will further cause them a discomfort and could potentially result in vomiting. Make sure not to overfeed your pets as it could cause an upset stomach. The goal is to make sure that they’re not hungry but not full either. Many pets develop intestinal problems when under stress, and traveling can cause great stress on a pet. Giving them a probiotic supplement before, during and after stressful periods can mitigate the onset of diarrhea and aid to regulate the digestive tract.

Make Proper Arrangements for Pet’s Accommodations

When making hotel reservations, mention that you’ll be bringing your pet with you and if they charge extra for that. If you’re using the services of a travel agent, have them locate some pet-friendly accommodations. There are hundreds of websites that list pet-friendly hotels in almost all cities. Find these hotels in advance rather than go through the stress of having to look for a place to stay at the last minute in an unfamiliar place.

pet travel tips

Make Your Pet Comfortable

Traveling to a new place can cause some pets to be anxious or even depressed. Their favorite things will make them more comfortable and at home. Keep a leash set, brush, collar, water bottle, dispensing tray, blanket and toys for your pet, a basket or bag to carry them, and any medications they require. Carry ready to eat pet food for an emergency, in case you run out of local food options. Most importantly, don’t forget to bring your pet’s bedding, rest zone tent, and pet cooler mats. A new place may make the pet uncomfortable, so take some old familiar things to keep them calm and relaxed. Consult our travel tips guide to make the most of your packing.

Traveling outdoors with your pet requires some extra forethought, planning, and packing, but the reward is a safe, healthy and enjoyable trip for both you and your pet. What are your favorite tips? Share your thoughts in the comments!