For most of use, our fur babies are part of the family. When traveling our pets can come along, for the most part, if steps are taken to ensure their safety and comfort. You cannot simply load the animal into the back of the car and take off. If you are not traveling in your vehicle then specific steps will need to be taken before leaving. Always check the regulations for the areas that you plan to visit because they may have different rules and laws. Be prepared for anything when it comes to your pet.
- Veterinarian-Take your pet to the vet and make sure that all their vaccines are up to date. Have them check your pet to ensure that they are healthy and able to go on a trip. Sedatives are not recommended in most cases so discuss ways on how to keep your furry friend calm and happy. Remember that within 10 days of the trip you need a statement from your licensed veterinarian stating that your pet is healthy and safe for travel. Even if traveling within your country get this statement to make sure if anyone checks your papers that you have one for your traveling companion as well.
- Identification-The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) states that you should never travel anywhere unless your pet is microchipped, and the collar has tags that are up to date. The pet’s name, your name, and your cell phone number need to be printed on the name tag. You also need to make sure that tags are present stating that vaccinations and rabies shots are up to date. You may even want to consider a temporary tag stating your destination information. This will allow your pet to be returned if they get lost for any reason.
- Insurance-It is always a good idea to get pet insurance when traveling. If you are not familiar with this type of insurance, it is like your health policy but designed for your fur baby. There are several levels of protection that you can get for them. Basically, the policy is designed to reimburse you for eligible payments that you may have to pay out of pocket if your pet gets sick or injured while traveling.
- Crate-No matter how you are traveling, (car, plane, bus, plane, etc.) an approved crate, or carrier, needs to be used. Your pet should be able to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around while inside of it. Keep the door closed, but not locked, and have your information clearly posted on it. If you are not traveling in your vehicle have a picture of your pet posted on it as well and write a sign that says “Live Animal” so anyone handling the crate understands to take extra care with it.
- Travel Kit-Your pet will need to be able to stay calm while traveling. Make sure they have plenty of food with them (never feed in a moving vehicle), bottled water, toys, and maybe a blanket with the smell of home. If traveling in your car takes plenty of rest stops. If traveling some other way tape a small amount of dog food to the inside of the crate so the people taking care of the loading and unloading can feed them if needed. When it comes to water have a bowl full of frozen liquid ready. By the time your pet gets loaded and settled the ice will have melted into water.
Traveling with your pet can be an easy, enjoyable time if you prepare beforehand. You plan for all your needs and cover all your concerns, before leaving. Your fur baby is no different. Be prepared for the trip and it will go smoothly, and safely, for you and your pet.