Traveling with family is a great way to bond, enjoy some relaxation time, and explore the world. However, for many people, traveling means leaving their pets behind, and pets are often very much a part of the family for many people.
You don’t have to leave your pets behind when you travel. By making the right plans and preparations, you can travel with just about any pet. Here are a few tips for making traveling with pets a little easier for both you and your pets:
Air travel can be very stressful – especially for your pets. Any pet that’s bigger than a large cat is going to have to be stowed in cargo. But even if your pet is small enough to ride in the cabin with you, they are going to have to be locked up in a carrier the whole time, and the whole experience is going to be scary and distressing.
It is much better to travel by land, either in a car, a train or a bus. You’ll be able to give your pet more room to move, offer more breaks, and keep them close to you. You’ll also be able to offer them a much more comfortable ride to make the trip less distressing.
Even if your pet is traveling on a feather pillow in a luxury train cabin where he has plenty of room to stretch and run, travel is going to be somewhat distressing for your pet. There is so much happening, and everywhere you go, you will be in a new environment. This can be very upsetting and can make your pet anxious or nauseous. Your pet may even get motion sickness. For that reason, it’s best not give your pet a large meal before you go. Provide snacks, treats and plenty of water, and offer meals as appropriate.
No matter how comfortable the arrangements are for your pet, he will still need plenty of breaks in which to play, explore the environment, and just stretch or get some healthy exercise. If you are driving yourself, make sure to stop often so your pet can have plenty of breaks. If you are on a bus or train, make sure to take advantage of every stop to give your pet a break. If you are on a train, take your pet to a private area to get a little room to stretch.
You can make your pet feel more comfortable by bringing the things he loves: Toys and other familiar items such as a blanket, small bed, or chew. These items can give your pet a sense of home and make the trip seem less distressing. You may also consider bringing one or two new toys to offer something interesting and exciting to your pet.
You never know when you will be stopped or when there might be an incident involving your pet. Make sure you are prepared by having documentation on hand of your pet’s vaccinations and other medical history. You don’t want to risk having your pet taken by animal control or quarantined. If you are crossing an international border into Canada or Mexico, you will have to show these papers or else your pet will be quarantined for a certain amount of time. Make sure you are prepared to avoid these unpleasant situations.
Traveling with your pet can be a fun and rewarding experience. However, you’ll need to make the right preparations to make sure that it’s a pleasant experience for your pet, as well. If you do, you’ll end up having a wonderful trip to remember.
About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance blog and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching culinary schools in NYC. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.