Dogs and cats are often considered family members by their owners. Due to their loyalty and unconditional love for their fur parents, some owners prefer to be with them almost everywhere they go, whether on their road trips or flights. While there’s no problem with that, you must be mindful of specific considerations if you want to travel with your furry friends.
Need to go on a trip this year? If so, then you might be wondering about the proper measures to take to ensure your pet’s welfare while you’re away. For starters, you might consider dog daycare options or pet boarding facilities for your furry pets to guarantee that they’ll be taken care of even if you’re away on a trip.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to take your dog with you, there are vital aspects you need to consider. To know more about them, continue reading this dog travel guide.
Prepare for a trip with your pet
Bringing your pet with you on your travels or trips may not be as easy. With many things to consider and numerous aspects to accomplish, it’s easy to get confused and intimidated by the processes you’ll need to take.
Although some people, persistent travelers, may not have trouble accomplishing those pre-travel preparations, it might not be the same for first-timers.
Whether you’re planning to travel with your pets for leisure or essential matters, know there are specific steps you need to take for your pet’s welfare.
Start with making sure you have the right luggage to accommodate everything you need. You might even want to buy a suitcase for you and your dog.
Besides that, here are some of the key considerations and tips you need to know before traveling with your furry best friend:
Review airline rules
When preparing for your pet’s travel, one of the most critical factors is that you shouldn’t forget the airline rules that involve your pet. Typically, airlines have a considerable number of regulations and guidelines regarding flying with pets. To better have a stress-free flight with your pets, you must abide by these rules and requirements.
Although this might be considered a no-brainer for many pet owners, it’s worth mentioning that you must first confirm if your preferred airline allows pets or if they offer pet-friendly services before taking your pet on board. This ensures that the airline doesn’t turn your pet away during boarding.
In some cases, travelers with pets have been unable to board due to their failure to comply with airline guidelines. For instance, dog breeds with snubbed noses usually aren’t allowed on board as they may have difficulty breathing. Check with the airline for any breed restrictions due to temperament or health concerns.
You should also learn any additional pet requirements, including using carriers or getting health certificates. However, in most cases, providing a health certificate for your pets is required.
Book a flight
After reviewing the airline rules, the next thing you need to do is to choose your flight. As much as possible, you must opt for non-stop flights with fewer to no transfers to avoid stressing your pets. Also, be mindful of the timing and right time to travel with your pets.
In most cases, airlines and airports are packed during the holiday seasons, so it might be challenging to schedule a flight. Moreover, any concerns you might have might not be processed immediately due to the influx of travelers, so it’s best to avoid these traveling periods.
If you live in Phoenix or nearby areas, you can seek help from local service providers for your pet’s needs and concerns. To better determine the efficiency of their services, you must look for companies with the Phoenix Small Business Excellence Award, as this indicates quality services and excellent amenities.
You should also consider the current weather conditions at your travel destination to better prepare for the unexpected. Certain airlines don’t allow pets to travel if the weather at your destination is too cold or hot for them. If that happens, you might need a plan B.
Vaccinate your pets
Whether you’re taking your pets on a train, plane, car, or hotel staycation, vaccinating them is necessary. Vaccines protect your dog from being infected with any disease during and after the flight. Contact your veterinarian to ensure your dog is current on vaccinations.
Your veterinarian may recommend additional shots depending on your dog’s health or your travel destination.
Also, take note that there might be pests or parasites in your travel destination that could infect your pet. Thus, asking your veterinarian for additional shots for parasite control or a rattlesnake vaccine could protect your furry best friend.
Microchip your pet
One of the most common concerns many pet owners have is losing their pets along the way. Although there are times that you’ll have to take your pets outside after reaching your destination, you must be mindful of the possibility that you might lose them in unfamiliar places, and you won’t notice it immediately. When this happens, you might use up your entire trip in searching for them.
To protect your dog, put a microchip or tracker on your dog’s collar that could help you track them immediately if they get lost.
You also need to know some states require microchipping your pet before travel. Your vet can microchip your pet, and you can use a service that links your contact details with the chip’s ID.
You also can put a tag or ID on your dog’s collar with your cellphone number to make it easier for someone to contact you if your dog gets lost.
Use a pet carrier
A pet carrier is essential when preparing for a trip with your pet. Most airlines require them even if your dog is small enough to sit with you in the plane’s cabin.
In most cases, airlines provide a list of pet carrier requirements to help travelers choose appropriate carriers or crates for their pets. If you’re planning to buy one, make sure to choose a durable, well-ventilated, and leak-proof option to avoid suffocation and any leaking.
Pack extra food
Pack extra treats in addition to your dog’s meals to make sure they have something to eat. Providing extra food is helpful in case your travel plans change or your flight is delayed. Try to maintain your furry friend’s feeding routine while traveling to avoid disrupting their eating patterns.
Consistent feeding can also prevent upsetting your dog’s stomach or digestive functions. Don’t introduce new food or treats when you travel. Also, consider feeding your dog a small meal three or four hours before departure to keep them full throughout the flight.
If they’re struggling with car sickness, let their tummies settle first and avoid feeding them immediately to prevent nausea.
Prioritize your dog’s particular needs
Many fur pets, including dogs and cats, are more prone to car sickness and oversensitivity when traveling. Just like humans, your furry friends can also suffer from motion sickness. Cats, in particular, often have more difficulties with anxiety, so helping them get accustomed to traveling could be challenging.
Moreover, they’re also more sensitive to traveling and become more susceptible to nausea when left untreated. To better calm cats, you can use sprays like a synthetic feline facial pheromone to soothe their nerves. But before doing that, consult your veterinarian to avoid any complications.
Prepare your dog for travel
If you’re having a hard time managing your pets’ anxiety and stress levels before your designated flight, it might be best to take them to a veterinarian. Your pets must be exposed to your lifestyle to help them adapt to unfamiliar places and people. Ideally, it would be best if you socialized your dogs or puppies to different aspects of your lifestyle to help them feel comfortable in different situations and confident about meeting new people.
Many experts believe dogs need exposure to their external environment to help them familiarize themselves and reduce their anxiety. To help you more, here are some things you can do to help prepare your dog for traveling.
- Take your dog for a ride in your car to let them see their new environment.
- You can also leave them alone in the backseat for a few minutes while watching from outside.
- Once your dog is calm, you can give a treat as a reward.
- Allow the dog to get out of the car.
- After a few minutes, put them back in and continue your mini-trip.
- Follow this routine for a few weeks until your dog’s comfortable riding in the car.
- You also can use a reward system to boost your dog’s morale
Use a dog travel guide to prepare for your next trip
Taking your pets on a trip entails various tasks, not to mention the number of requirements you need to meet. If you’re a first-timer, you don’t have to worry too much, as there are various ways you can enjoy a trip with your furry best friend. For starters, you can use the tips in this dog travel guide for hassle-free adventures.
By keeping this dog travel guide in mind, planning your first trip with your pet will be more manageable.