Traveling with pets: Everything you need to know

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There are five things you need to remember to bring if you’re traveling with a pet. The key to smooth travel is to pack smart and light. Given the very limited space you have, you only need to prepare what’s absolutely necessary.

1. Collar

A collar is arguably the most important pet accessory. It should be attached with a tag containing your pet’s name and your contact information. In case your pet wanders off, it will be easier for people to identify him. That way, your beloved pooch will be back to you in no time. Needless to say, your animal companion should have his collar on every time you’re going anywhere outside the house.

2. Leash

If you’re traveling with a four-legged pet, you should have it on a leash every time it’s outside the car or the kennel. It may be the most well-trained pooch in the whole world, but most public spaces require pets to be restrained. It will make it easier for you to keep your pet under control and avoid any possibility of it getting lost. Keeping your animal companion attached to the leash is also a show of consideration for everyone’s safety and well-being.

3. Kennel/Cage

Your pet must have its own kennel or cage especially if you’re traveling by air. Most airlines do not allow pets to sit on the lap or roam around the cabin. They have this policy to keep the crowded cabin in order. Moreover, kennels can offer enormous help during transitions. No need to tug on the leash every time you’re moving from one place to another. Just place the kennel on the luggage cart and push with ease!

4. Waste bags

As pet owners, it is our responsibility to clean up after our furry travel buddy. We must always have clean doo-doo bags prepared for whenever they need to go potty!

5. Toys

You need something to keep your pet occupied. Giving them something to play with is a great way to entertain them throughout the duration of the trip. It can also help alleviate stress and anxiety that some animals may experience if they’re not used to traveling. You can bring chew toys, treat-dispensing balls, and other interactive playthings. Just make sure you take one that is compact and quiet. Squeaky toys should be avoided as much as possible.

6. Food

Travel can be exhausting for both humans and animals. That’s why keeping a stash of snacks as a source of energy is a road trip essential. If you are in for a long-haul drive or flight, remember to give your dog some food in its regular feeding schedule. You should also prepare treats to keep it happy during the trip. However, it is not advisable to feed your pet too much before the drive or the flight. Give your pet the right amount of food or maybe even less than usual if you’re only going for a short distance.

7. Water

Keep your pet hydrated! It may be hard to give your pet some water in a shaky car or plane but there are clever ways to do it. You can use a collapsible bowl to pour the water in which you can easily keep inside your carry-on bag once you’re done using. You may also choose to give your pup water in the form of ice cubes. Dogs love their crunchy water!

Tips for smooth travel with pets

Here are some of the things that could help you have an easier time when traveling with animals.

Air travel

1. KNOW THE RISKS OF AIR TRAVEL FOR YOUR PET

Needless to say, you should learn as much as you can about your pet and the dangers related to pet travel before going. For example, pets with “pushed-in faces”, such as Persian cats, pugs, and bulldogs are vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and flights might even give them a heat stroke. You should also be aware that a lot of pets get injured, lost, or even killed on commercial flights. Have this in mind before you decide to travel anywhere.

2. GET ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS FROM YOUR AIRLINE:

Are pets allowed in the cabin?

Does the airline have any immunization or pre-health requirements?

Do you need any kind of a special carrier?

Are there any restrictions on transporting a pet in the cargo, if cabin travel is not allowed?

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend transporting your pet in the cargo and you should always try to…

3. B OOK A FLIGHT WITH AN AIRLINE THAT ALLOWS CABIN TRAVEL

Most airlines allow you to take your pet with you in the cabin for an extra fee. However, you will need to arrange this with the airline in advance, as there’s a limit to the number of animals that can be allowed on the flight. Also, you should make sure your pet fits the size requirements set by the airline. If this sounds like too much of a hustle, there are companies out there that can take care of the whole booking process. If you can’t find an airline that allows cabin travel for pets, you should at least…

4. CHOOSE DIRECT FLIGHTS

Yes, direct flights can be significantly more expensive than flights with multiple layovers. For some people, however, it’s worth spending a few more bucks for convenience and efficiency. This could save you and your pet from a stressful travel experience too.

5. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE WEATHER

If you’re traveling in the hot summer months, try to book a flight in the early morning to protect your pet from the extremely hot temperatures. Alternatively, if you’re traveling in the cold winter months, try to get a flight during the daytime to avoid the extremely cold temperatures in the nights.

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