Should you take your pet with you when you go off on vacation? Consider your pet’s age, temperament and state of health. If you are going on a long journey or flying, your pet may have difficulty handling the stress brought on by traveling for many hours, to unfamiliar locations and over long distances. It may be in your pet’s best interests to be left in the care of a friend or a professional pet caretaker while you are on vacation.
* If you decide to leave your pet with a friend or professional pet caretaker, consider the following:
Are they properly prepared to look after your pet? Do they have appropriate accommodations to make your pet feel at ease while away from home? Do they understand what’s physically and mentally involved in caring for your pet, and can they adequately provide? Does your pet feel comfortable with this person?
To help keep your pet comfortable while you’re gone, try to maintain your pet’s routine. Bring some familiar items from home such as toys and a favorite blanket. Consider familiarizing your pet to the environment by taking him or her to spend time with the caretaker at their place several times before leaving on your trip. Leaving your pet in their care for short durations may help to build trust and confidence in your return.
* If you decide to take your pet with you, your pet should have the following:
A clean bill of health. If you decide to take your pet along, ensure that your pet’s health is good and that he can travel. A week or two before you go on vacation, take your pet to his veterinarian for a thorough check up. You want to make sure that your pet is in the best of health when you travel.
An identification collar with up-to-date vaccination, registration and contact information. Make sure that your pet has a collar with identification tags on at all times. The collar must have your pet’s name, your name and contact information. Keep in mind that when you travel with your pet in a car, your pet can easily run off while your back is turned. If your pet is wearing a collar with all the right information, whoever finds him can easily contact you for your pet’s safe return. If possible, have a microchip embedded in your pet as this is one of the best ways to have a link to your pet if he ever gets lost, and ensure that your contact information is up to date.
A travel crate. Ensure that your pet’s carrier or crate is properly sized for your pet. He or she should have room to stand and turn around comfortably. Keep in mind that your pet dog may have a hard time traveling in the car in a crate, and if your pet is a cat, your cat must be confined while you travel by car. If you are traveling by plane, you will be required to place your pet in a crate. Make sure to get a crate that is airline approved and is of the highest quality, and put lots of padding inside.
A grooming. Before leaving with your pet, groom him. Make sure your pet’s claws are clipped and his fur brushed and trimmed if necessary. Pamper your pet before you embark on your vacation. Your pet will be much happier traveling if he has been groomed and is clean.
Food and water. Bring plenty of water and dried food for your pet. Use traveling containers to store them with easy access and keep them cool. Just like humans, it may take some time for a pet to adjust to the flora and fauna in the local water supply. Providing water from home can ease the transition and help to avoid stomach upset.
Traveling with your pet can be a rewarding experience with proper preparation. Whether you travel with or without your pet, the important thing is to make sure that your pet is well taken care of!