When travelling with a pet, there are many considerations you have to make. Will you be taking a car? Flying? Can your pet handle spending hours cooped up?
Before you make arrangements and bring your dog along on your tropical vacation check out the do’s and don’ts of travelling with a pet:
If you’re making a temporary move to a long-distance location, bringing all of your pet’s belongings is not only going to take up a lot of room in your car, it’s also going to act as an unwanted distraction to your pet. Even tucked away in the trunk, your pet will smell their familiar toys and treats, which will likely cause them to be restless. Instead of moving everything with you, bring their non-replaceable essentials and put the rest of their belongings in storage for when you return!
Do choose the safest and most comfortable travel method for your pet.
Don’t travel with fish or aquatic animals. Some people buy turtles and fish when they visit tropical locales. Some countries will even let you go through security and board the plane with an exotic eel but the moment you land in Canada it will be confiscated at customs.
Do check with your vet before leaving to make sure your dog or cat has the required shots for travel. Some countries, especially those in Europe, require a pet to be quarantined for a long period of time before they are even allowed to entre the country.
Don’t forget the barf bag. Dogs are susceptible to motion sickness just like humans. Driving with your dog on a twisted road or without an open window can make him/her very ill. If you have a small dog and are allowed to fly with it in the cabin, it may feel sick if there’s turbulence.
Do leave the front seat for yourself. Your pet will be safer in the backseat. If the airbag deploys while your dog or cat is sitting in the front, they could become seriously injured.
Don’t leave your pet in the cargo bay of a plane for too long. Cabin travel is better for pets but if you are travelling with a large animal it may not be allowed in the cabin. Dogs and cats may need to be sedated to keep them from getting scared in the cargo bay. Sedation can wear off, or worse, the temperature in the bay can shift from too cold to too hot and hurt your pet. Take a direct flight if possible and try to keep air travel with a pet to a minimum of six hours.
Do carry a current picture of your pet, preferably on your phone for easy access. In case your pet runs off at a rest stop or tears through the airport, it’ll be easier for people to help you search for him/her.
Whether you’re traveling for a day, a month or a year, ensure you’re prepared enough in advance so you can keep your pets comfortable and safe!