With summer just around the corner, planning a vacation or a getaway is more important than ever. And it is no surprise that when you go on a family vacation or trip, your pets often tag along.
Of course, pets are already considered as part of the family. Hence, most of us would want to take them along on our trips and getaways. But taking them is also one of the most tedious responsibilities of pet ownership.
Before you go on a trip with your beloved pets, it is crucial to plan ahead and always keep the well-being of your feathered or four-legged pet. For a little help, below are some guidelines that you can follow to have a safe and unforgettable trip along with your pets.
If you’re traveling by land
Taking your pet on a road trip is more than just buckling the pet in the back seat and speeding off, most especially if you’re planning to travel long distances or are planning to be away for a long time.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind, such as car travel safety tips, that can greatly help you get ready for a safe and smooth trip.
Prepare your pet for a long expedition
Prepare your pet before taking a long trip by transporting him or her on a set of short drives (at first), then gradually extend the time spent in the vehicle. By doing so, you will know if your pet gets sick or anxious.
And if you are planning to travel across state lines, don’t forget to bring all your pet’s rabies vaccination records. It might not be that necessary, but some countries call for verification at various interstate crossings.
Make sure that your car is safe and secure
The travel crate should be and must be big enough for your animal to lie down, stand, turn around in, and sit. Fasten your animal’s carrier so that it will not move or slide in case of a sudden stop. But if you decide to travel without a crate, do not let your pet sit with its head sticking out the window. Keep him or her in the back seat with a buckled seat belt.
Bring a pet-friendly kit
Bringing a pet-friendly travel kit, which includes a bowl, food, a waste scoop, leash, grooming supplies, plastic bags, travel documents, and a first-aid kit is of utmost importance when traveling. You can also bring your pet’s favorite pillow or toy to give it a sense of familiarity.
Make sure to bring a big enough supply of bottled water because letting your pet drink from a place it is not familiar could lead to stomach discomfort. And refrain from feeding your pet while on the road. You should feed your pet with a light meal at least five hours before the trip.
Don’t leave your pet alone in a parked car
Never leave your pet all alone in a parked car, especially on a hot sunny day, even if you keep the windows wide open. A parked car can become an incinerator, and heat strokes can generate. Even when it’s cold outside, leaving a pet alone in a parked vehicle is a big no.
Your vehicle can also turn into a refrigerator in no time during the winter months, storing all the cold that can freeze your pet to death.
If you’re traveling by air
If your pet is small enough to jaunt under your seat, it’s okay to travel by plane. But if that is not the case, it is best to refrain traveling by plane with your pets. If so, consider the things below to have a safe and fun flight.
Book a direct flight
Booking a direct flight will lessen the possibilities that your pet stays on a tarmac amid severe weather conditions or is mismanaged by any airline personnel during a stopover.
Schedule a pet checkup
Before your flight, ensure your pet’s immunizations are up-to-date. Don’t forget to get a health certificate from your pet’s veterinarian marked within 10 days of your flight.
Ask the vet for ways to calm your pet if you think your pet may become uncomfortable, anxious, or afraid mid-flight. Keep in mind that tranquilizing is not an option.
Buy a USDA-certified shipping carrier
Your pet’s crate should be big enough for it to sit, lay down, turn around in, and stand comfortably. Make sure it has bedding and shredded towels or paper to suck up accidents, such as peeing or pooping.
Before your flight, fasten a small sack of dried food outside the carrier so airline staff will be able to give food to your pet if it is ever in need of food during a layover. Before your trip, freeze a small tray or dish of water for your pet. In this way, it cannot spill during loading and will eventually melt by the time your pet is thirsty.
Most importantly, make sure that your pet’s crate is firmly and strongly closed, but not padlocked. As such, any airline personnel can unfasten it in case of an emergency.
Properly identify your pet’s crate
Properly label the crate of your pet with the phrase “Live Animal,” as well as your information, such as your name, email, mobile number, and a picture of your pet. This way, if your pet escapes from the crate, you can easily find or locate him/her. Always bring a picture of your pet with you.
Inform all airline personnel that you are traveling with your pet
Informing all airline personnel, whether on the ground or in the air, that you are bringing a pet with you in the cargo hold is very important. By doing so, they will be able to inform you if any further considerations are necessary.
For instance, if you have any concerns about the well-being of your pets or if your flight gets delayed, tell any airline staff to check on your pet whenever possible. In some cases, discharging the animal from the cargo hold and disembarking from the plane might be legit.
Regardless of where you’re going or by what means you’re planning to get there, make sure the safety and comfort of your pet is one of your top priorities. If you’re planning to travel by air or hit the road with your pet, follow the tips above to make your vacation as safe and smooth as possible.
Also, you should bring a good-quality suitcase with you. As such, you’ll have lesser things to worry and focus more on your getaway with your beloved pet. You can buy high-quality bags at any online stores, such as Luggage Online.
Written by Kobe Parker