Our beloved furry friends can be our deepest companions; they comfort us when we are sad, they never seize to be our favorite comedy routines, and they always know how to put a smile on our faces. When it comes time to leave them, it can be dreadful. Now more than ever, people are learning that they can travel with their pets and it has become quite commonplace for people to bring their pets along with them on trips and vacations. Of course, there are logistics that pet owners must deal with in order to make traveling with their pets a reality; but who hasn’t jumped through a few hoops for their furry friend before? Bringing our beloved companions along for the ride does not have to be the hassle that one might think it is. In fact, there are not as many difficult regulations to get past in order to transport your pet. However, it is important to know what steps you must take and how to access the pet-friendly options in terms of airlines, hotels, and the policies that govern the area you are traveling to; keep in mind that you will want to do some individual research regarding your destination. Being as prepared as possible is number one: here are a few tips that can help you prepare for traveling with your pet.
Once you get past all the red tape and logistics of getting your pet on the plane, there are a few things that you will not want to be without once you reach your destination. Firstly, make sure that your pet has proper identification. This should include your name; several phone numbers that you can be reached at; and your home address. When it comes to specific travel identification, you should also include the phone number you can be reached at while at your destination; i.e. the contact information and address for the location you will be staying at, and your cell phone number. If your pet has a microchip, then you will want to make sure that the information on file is accurate and current. For health precautions, you should make sure to bring along your pet’s medical files, or a summarized version.
In order to travel to another state, or country, you will need to have proof from your veterinarian that your animal has a clean bill of health in terms of illnesses and diseases that can be spread to other animals. For instance, they must have proof that they have received the standard vaccinations, such as rabies. In order to provide this information, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian and get the proper certification that shows that your pet has been inspected and is healthy and safe to travel. At this time, you can ask your veterinarian for a summarized or condensed copy of your animal’s health issues and medical history.
Depending on your method of transportation, you may need further verifications that your pet is safe to travel. For instance, some airlines require that your pet is approved for air travel—if you are traveling by airplane, you will want to research whether or not this applies for your chosen airline and you can make arrangements accordingly. Regardless of the method of transport, there are some typical pet items that you will certainly not want to be without once you reach your destination. Most importantly, if your pet is currently on any medications, you will want to plan ahead and make sure you bring enough of the medicine to last for the duration of the trip. Also, don’t forget their leash, collar, toys, and crate—being without these items can cause both you and your animal distress. Lastly, make sure to bring a large enough supply of your pet’s food, bottled water, and their favorite dishes. This will make your pet feel more at ease, and will decrease the likelihood of food or water-born illnesses (if you are hesitant to drink the water where you are traveling to, then it’s safe to assume that your pet should not drink it either). Play it safe—look up some reputable animal hospitals and veterinarians located at your travel destination; in the off-chance that something happens, you will be glad you did.