How to avoid the biggest pet-travel mistakes this holiday season
With the holiday travel season revving up many of us will be looking down at furry, brown-eyed loved ones and considering bringing them along for the ride.
To many of us our pets are our kids. That same outlook is important to have when traveling. Just like advance planning is necessary when traveling with children, the same holds true for Fido and Fluffy.
According to Dr. Marshall by following a few simple suggestions the holiday travel season will be a happy and safe one for our animals.
A few tips Dr. Marshall shared with me include;
Take practice trips – this is especially important for pets that have never traveled before, and for pets who become car sick and need time to get used to the motion of the car.
Buckle up your pet – there are many options available to keep pets safe inside vehicles, including harnesses that attach to the seat belt and will keep them restrained in the event of an accident. Cats should always be kept inside carriers as they can easily panic and cause distraction to the driver.
Think “kids” – Air bags can injure or even kill your pet, so follow the same guidelines as children and keep them in the back seat safely buckled in.
Schedule extra time – Be prepared to stop every two hours or so to allow your pet to take a break, stretch his legs and drink some water.
Flying with pets takes additional advance planning.
A visit to the vet is in order to obtain a certificate of health and shot records. If you’re traveling internationally a form 7001 is needed before departing.
It’s also important to consider how flying may affect your dog or cat. Some animals fly like champions, others find the process entirely too stressful. Talk with your vet and take into consideration your pet’s temperament when making plans.
Additionally, airlines have size limitations on pets traveling with owners in the plane’s cabin. The carrier and pet’s combined weight must not exceed 20 pounds. Larger pets and carriers will need to fly in the cargo area.
Should you decide flying is the best mode of transportation, be sure to label your pet’s carrier adequately and include the animal’s name. Something as simple as being able to call your pet by name may make a world of difference should a baggage handler need to calm him.
Whether traveling by car or plane you may need overnight accommodations. It’s always advisable to contact hotels prior to your journey. Not all hotels welcome four-legged family members. While some chains such as Hilton and Best Western do allow dogs and cats there are often restrictions on size and number of pets.
Remember “pets welcomed” isn’t the same as “pet-friendly” so do your research before booking.
When traveling out of town it’s important to have your pet micro-chipped. It’s a simple and inexpensive procedure and substantially increases the odds of being reunited should you and your pet become separated on vacation.
Our pets are important family members so while you’re busy making arrangements for your holiday get-away be certain to take time and sure up travel plans for the furry family members.
As Dr. Marshall emphasizes, “prepare and do your research ahead of time for happy, safe and stress-free pet travel.”
If you like this, please share it with your friends. As always, Happy Travels!