More and more people are traveling with their pets. There are some things to consider before taking your furry friend on vacation.
Bring appropriate amounts of food and water for your pet, especially if they require a specific diet that is harder to find. It is important to make sure your pet has sufficient refills of prescriptions or have a written prescription handy. Chews, toys, and blankets will keep your pet entertained and comfortable during long travel times.
Before You Go
Feed your pet four to five hours before travel. This will help eliminate the potential for carsickness. If your pet experiences carsickness an anti-emetic may need to be prescribed by a veterinarian. In some cases a sedative may be used to calm a pet as well, but fewer veterinarians and airlines allow this because the pet is not being closely monitored. Both anti-emetics and sedatives are being prescribed based on the specific pet and case.
Do Trial Runs
If they have never been in the car for a long period of time take them on shorter rides. If camping or hiking is in the itinerary take them on short hikes and trips, just like people it is important to condition for longer adventures. Leave them in their crate for short periods of time before they travel. This allows your pet to adjust to their traveling accommodations.
Identification ID Tags
Identification is essential. Make sure that an ID tag is visible and includes your current address and phone number. Microchips are also a good idea, sometimes collars get lost, or your pet may not tolerate a collar. Carry a current photo of your pet and any pertinent medical information, like current medications and vaccinations.
Can I Take My Pet?
Many hotels, like Marriot, are now allowing pets. There is sometimes a weight limit or additional fees for pets. Many airlines, like Jetblue and American Airlines, allow transport of pets. When flying with your pet a health certificate is usually required ten days before the trip. International travel may require more paperwork and test before the pet can cross the border; www.usda.gov is a valuable resource to find regulations and restrictions. Make sure pets have their own space; a crate large enough for them to turn around in is sufficient.
Do not allow your pet to wander in the car. It is much safer for you and your pet to have them in a crate. They are less of a distraction to you. Restrain the crate as well so it will not bounce around or slide.
It is hard for anyone to sit in a car for hours, especially your pet. Take frequent breaks. This allows your pet to get a drink, go to the bathroom, and use up some energy. Do not ever leave your pet in the car. It does not take much time for the temperature to rise; on an 85-degree day it takes only 10 minutes for a car to reach 100+ degrees. It does not take long for heat stroke to set in and irreversible organ damage or even death can occur.
Clean Up After Your Friend
Clean up after your pet. Carry baggies with you at all times. It is not a glamorous part of pet ownership, but others trying to enjoy their vacations appreciate a clean environment too.
Have A Backup Plan
If there are problems at the hotel or the scheduled activities do not allow your furry friend to participate be aware of local boarding facilities. Call these places in advance and know their prices, availability, and requirements.
Wherever you go with your pet just be prepared and informed. Ask questions, the more you know the more enjoyable your trip will be for you and your furry friend.