Jack Russell with boarding ticket in mouth.

How to Travel With a Pet: 7 Tips to Make It Easier for Both of You

Are you planning a vacation in the future and don’t want to leave your pet behind? Although traveling with a pet may seem stressful, it’s more than possible if you know the right way to go about it.

This includes planning ahead so that you have the right gear and accommodations ready. You’ll also want to have good knowledge of your furry family member and whether traveling is the right choice for them.

With this in mind, read on to learn all about travel with a pet and our top 7 tips for making it easier! 

1. Know Your Pet

It’s important that you consider whether your pet is even suited to travel. If you know that your pet is sensitive to loud noises, gets stressed during car rides, or is nervous around strangers, it may not be worth it to take them.

Reactive dogs can be even harder to travel with even when you’ve reached your destination. Their reactivity may even worsen if they’re in an unknown environment surrounded by strangers.    

2. Plan Ahead

It’s important that you plan ahead and book a pet-friendly hotel or property ahead of time. Even if you think you’ve found the perfect pet-friendly location for your vacation, they may not have the capacity available to you if you wait too long to book.

Fortunately, more popular hotel chains are becoming friendlier to pets and are making it less expensive than in the past to bring your pets.

If you’re planning your travel months or even a year in advance, you also have time to help desensitize your pet to travel. This can be as simple as getting them used to your car by having them spend a longer amount of time inside as you drive. 

Desensitizing them to airline travel is harder, but you can start by getting them accustomed to their carrier so that they view it as a safe and comfortable space. 

3. Purchase an Approved Pet Carrier

If you’re flying with a pet, you’ll also need to invest in an airline-approved pet carrier. If you don’t, your pet won’t be able to come with you on the plane.

Although you’ll need to search for the carrier requirements depending on the airline you’re traveling with, here are a few common in-cabin pet details: 

  • Hard or soft-sided kennel
  • The kennel has to be able to fit under the seat in front of you
  • Pet must stay in the kennel at all times

Pets that are too big to fit beneath the seat in front of you will need to be loaded onto the airplane separately. This requires an airline-approved crate. Some airlines will require you to submit photos of the crate before your pet is approved to travel. 

4. Bring Documentation

Whether you’re driving or flying in or out of the country, it’s always important to have your pet’s medical records with you for “just in case” scenarios.

To make it easier, you can scan all your pet’s documents onto your phone or download them onto a small USB drive that you can carry on a keychain. 

If you’re flying, health certificates signed by your veterinarian within 10 days of travel are often required. They include: 

  • Date your pet was examined
  • A statement that your pet is healthy enough to travel
  • Dominant breed
  • Weight
  • Age

If you’re traveling to a different country, sure that your pet’s breed or type is allowed. 

5. Bring the Right Travel Gear 

To help your pet feel comfortable in a new environment, you’ll want to make sure you’re traveling with the right gear. Remember to bring familiar toys, beds, and t-shirts with your smell to help keep your pet calm. 

Collapsible bowls can help save space, but you also have the option of purchasing cheap ones at your destination. Lastly, you never want to forget your pet’s leash and harness. 

6. Help Your Pet Settle

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll want to help your pet settle so that they don’t experience extra stress. This may mean making sure you stay with them for at least 24 hours so they can adjust.

You’ll also want to keep their feeding and walking schedule the same. Instead of tap water, we also recommend giving them bottled water to reduce the chances of an upset stomach.  

7. Consider a Pet Transport Company 

Last but not least, you’ll also want to consider a pet transport company for your pet travel needs. If your pet isn’t able to be with you in-cabin, an air pet transport company can provide a luxury service that provides a customized experience. Pet nannies also stay with your dog through every step of their journey. 

These companies are the best option if you don’t want your pet to experience cargo travel. Although many pets that travel in the cargo of a plane are fine, they’re also exposed to louder noise, varying temperatures, and an overall more stressful experience. 

Travel With a Pet: Prepare in Advance

Travel with a pet is all about preparing in advance. If you have time, the best method is to get your pet used to traveling by car or helping them adjust to a new carrier or kennel so they can feel comforted and safe while inside.

You’ll also want to compile all of their medical documentation and schedule a vet visit a few days before you travel if necessary. The more you prepare, the less stressed out both you and your furry companion will be! 

Ready to book a pet transport service that can help eliminate some stress from travel? Contact us today to get started! 

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