Once you’ve determined your pet’s pre-travel needs, you’re ready for the big day. Flying the friendly skies or hitting the road with your pet takes careful planning and organization to ensure a safe and seamless trip for everyone. That’s why the team at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital has compiled the following tips for pet travel.
Packed and Ready to Go!
Making your pet’s trip a good one relies on keeping his or her daily care routine as consistent as possible. Consider packing the following items for your pet’s comfort and home-away-from-home needs:
- Crate or carrier (required for air travel)
- Leash, collar, ID tags
- Medical records, including pet health certificate (if needed)
- Prescription medications and supplements
- Your pet’s regular food and treats
- Favorite toys
- Grooming supplies (don’t forget to pack a toothbrush!)
- Waste bags OR litter and litter box
- Pet first aid kit
- Appropriate weather gear (sweater, booties, pet-safe sunscreen, etc.)
Pet Travel Tips for the Car
With lengthy drive times, keep in mind that although your pet can’t ask “Are we there yet?,” the sentiment may be felt. Take plenty of rest breaks so your pal can relieve him or herself, stretch, and drink some water.
To prevent an escape, never take your cat or dog out of the carrier without a leash and/or harness. Use the buddy system with other family members or friends, so someone is always with your pet at rest stops. Also be courteous and pick up any waste from your pet, and always maintain control of your cat or dog.
To prevent an accident or injury, keep your pet’s seatbelt harness attached or ensure he or she is in a carrier when the car is in motion. Also bring along toys that can be played with in a crate/carrier to fend off boredom.
Lastly, don’t forget to maintain a comfortable temperature in the car – especially when traveling with a heat/cold-sensitive senior pet, pocket pet, or puppy/kitten.
Tips for Air Travel
After sorting out your destination requirements for pet air travel, now comes the hard part: flying with your pet. Since flying confines your pal to a small space for the better part of a day (or longer), it’s imperative to provide plenty of exercise before leaving for the airport.
Make sure your pet’s crate (if flying in cargo) is lined with comfortable yet easy to clean materials. You’ll also need to bring bowls for water to ensure hydration. Additional recommendations include:
- Keep veterinary records/health certificate in your carry-on or purse for easy access.
- Avoid feeding your pet a heavy meal. Instead, opt for a light breakfast and resume the correct meal portion when you reach your destination.
- If you pet is flying in cargo, frequently check-in on how he or she is doing.
- Upon landing, immediately find the nearest pet area outside the airport so your pet can relieve him or herself.
- Do not give your pet sedatives. Ask us about the safest options for calming an anxious pet pre-flight.
We understand that pet travel can be complicated and worrisome. Allow your friends at Animal Kind to help! We’re always here for you and your pet companion.