Now that COVID-19 restrictions are starting to lift throughout the United States, many people are itching to start traveling again. A recent study by Mars Petcare indicates that about 60% of pet owners want to bring their pets along when they travel in 2021.
At Sunset Veterinary Clinic, we know our pet owners love to travel with their animal family members. If you plan to travel with your pet or have wondered what that would look like, here are some little-known tips. There is a lot to think about when you get ready to travel, even more so if you plan to bring along your pet. Hopefully, these tips will make traveling with a pet easy and fun, for both the pet and the pet owner.
Practice Makes Perfect
If this is the first time you are taking your pet on a trip, you should get your pet prepared. Take short trips in the car to practice traveling. As they adapt, increase the amount of time your pet is in his/her crate in the car. If you are flying, there is even more to consider. You might even try to take your pet to the airport terminal in advance. This will help them see and hear what it will be like on the day of travel. Don’t forget the power of positive affirmation — reward your pet for good behavior!
Get Some Exercise Before You Travel
Sometimes, a tired pet travels better. If you can help your pet get some energy out before you get in the car or on a plane, it may ease anxiety for both you and your pet. Make it fun by including toys during exercise. Just like when you are at home, your pet needs and wants to exercise each day.
Leave Some of the Toys at Home
It is tempting to pack all your pet’s favorite toys into the crate for a long car ride or plane trip. However, you want to make sure your pet has enough room to get comfortable. If the crate is full of toys and goodies, your pet may be uncomfortable and have a hard time settling down. This is one time when less is more!
Travel Smart with Identification
Pets get lost. However, being prepared for the worst-case scenario is easy. Implanting a microchip in your pet is an easy and nearly painless process. You can do this in advance of your trip and register the chip with a company. This will give you some peace of mind in case your pet gets lost while traveling. Your pet should also wear a collar and tag with your current phone number.
There’s No Place Like Home
Yes, your pet is most comfortable at home. You can make your pet feel more at ease on a trip by taking a little piece of home with you on your journey. Does your pet have a favorite blanket or toy? Throw a few things from home in your suitcase. Your pet will feel more at ease if there are familiar items around.
Contact a Few People, Including Your Veterinarian
Here are a few people you should be sure to contact. Start with your airline and travel company to make sure you cover all the restrictions and requirements. Give a call to whoever is providing your accommodations—hotel, motel, park, camp ground—to make sure you know all their rules regarding pets. If you are traveling to another country, or Hawaii, then make sure you are aware of any quarantine or health requirements. Last, but definitely not least, contact your veterinarian for a checkup, tips, and to fill any pet medications prior to travel.
If you have travel plans coming up, call to schedule your appointment with a veterinarian at Sunset Veterinary Clinic today.