Traveling With a Pet: What You Need to Know Before You Plan Anything
Your furry friend is family, so how can you make sure they’re safe when you travel? In the following two articles, we’ll explore everything you need to know when traveling with your pet.
In part one, we’ll look at how to prep your pet for travel, and what you need before leaving. In part two, we’ll examine the pros and cons of traveling by air, road and more, as well as what to do after you arrive to keep your fur-child as happy and safe as possible.
But before you consider anything, first start by asking…
…Is Travelling Best for My Pet’s Well-Being?
Before you decide to travel with a beloved pet, it’s important to ask yourself, “Is it okay for my pet to travel, or would they be better off staying at home?”. If your furry friend is a cat or caged animal like a reptile, bird or rodent, it’s probably far better for your pet’s well-being to remain home under the protection of a pet-sitter.
Cats are very independently-minded and territorial, so brief travel can be much more stressful to them than staying home under the care of someone you trust. With dogs, this isn’t necessarily the case, but shouldn’t be ignored as an option.
Even though dogs are far more social than other animals, and even though they will more than likely miss you while you’re away, leaving them under the care of a trustworthy pet-sitter or reputable kennel, can still be far better for their mental health and safety.
However, if this isn’t an option, there are ways you can reduce the risks of travel.
What Do You Need a Month Before Departure?
First, ask yourself if road travel is an option. We’ll get more into this in part two, but know when it comes to your pet’s well-being, road travel is by far the safest option, while flying is the riskiest.
Begin your research by talking to your vet about your travel plans and making sure your pet is fully vaccinated. In fact, if you plan on traveling either by plane or across a border, it’s very likely you will need up to date vaccinations with documentation.
Next, you’ll want to research the airlines for both their policies around pet travel, but also their history of animal care. Not all airlines have the same level of service. Sometimes animals are lost like luggage, and tragically, deaths do happen.
You’ll also want to find an adequate accommodation for your friend well before traveling. Obviously you’ll want to book a suite that permits animals, but also look for a place to stay that has plenty of space.
OBASA / Six Three Suites offers many fully furnished suites including homes to give the furry members of your family the leg room they need. Let us know your fluffy friend is coming along and we’ll find a place you’ll both love.
The other main thing you’ll need to look into is what pet carrier you’ll need based on your method of travel, accommodation, and size of pet. It should be large enough for them to comfortably sit and lay down in without touching the sides.
Once you’ve found a carrier, you’ll need to get your pet as used to it as possible. Give them no less than a month before departure to get them comfortable with it.
What Do You Need the Day of Departure?
Just like with people, to avoid travel sickness, feed your animal friend only a light meal no less than four hours before you go. You’ll also want to trim their nails to avoid injury inside their carrier, and take them for a walk to expend some energy.
Most importantly, Do NOT give your pet any sedatives.
Unless directly advised by your vet, sedating a pet prior travel, especially prior air travel, can cause them serious injury.
Other things you’ll want to gather before leaving:
- Beloved toys, food and treats
- Collapsible bowl of frozen water (To avoid spilling while remaining drinkable)
- Used shirt or bedding with your scent
- Recent photo of them incase they get lost
- Leash and harness
Travel is stressful for an animal, so if there’s anything that will remind them of you and home, be sure to bring it with you.
Travelling is stressful on a pet, so make sure to center your decisions around your pets well-being. Before deciding a travel method, consider if any other options are available such as a pet-sitter or kennel.
Furthermore, do your research, both by talking to a vet, and vetting potential airlines. Pack everything your pet needs, and use a decently-sized carrier they’ve had time to get comfortable with. Finally, book accommodations that not only accept pets, but give them all the space they’ll need.
Stay tuned next week for part two in which we’ll explore the ins and outs of traveling by air, road, and more. Happy travels!
Your Furry Friend Is Family, Don’t Confine Them to a Hotel Room!
Our pet-friendly short-term rentals are like homes away from home. These fully furnished apartments and houses have all the space and privacy of home with all the amenities of a hotel.
We offer clean, safe, and comfortable executive suites for you and your fluffy family. Just let us know they’re tagging along for the journey, and we’ll make sure to get you a furnished, pet-friendly suite you’ll both love.