Going on vacation is one of the most pleasurable times in our lives. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most stressful times for our beloved pets. For some, sending Fido or Kitty to the kennel is out of the question. So here is some important advice for anyone wishing to travel with his or her four legged companions.Common sense is our precious ally when traveling with our pets and the following is a list of great tips to ensure the safety of our pets:Must not forgets:
Your pet’s favorite bed and toys.
Plenty of food. Changing the food can disrupt the digestive system.
Copies of up-to-date records of all shots, especially rabies.
Collar and leash.
Prescribed medications, if any.
Lots of treats.
Photos of your pet.
Your veterinarians phone number.
When traveling by car:
Stop at least every 100 miles or every 3 hours to give your pet a chance to stretch, walk, drink and of course empty his/her bladder. For your cat put a small pan of litter in the vehicle.
Always have your pet on a leash when traveling, even if he/she is off-leash trained. In a strange area they may not obey as easily and can get spooked.
Always clean up after your pet.
Use a harness that is made to clip into the car’s seat belt while traveling.
Make sure your pet is wearing an identification tag with a phone number that is appropriate for your trip. The cell phone number that you are carrying with you is best.
Never leave a pet alone in a car, especially in hot or cold climates. Extreme temperature changes can happen in minutes and can be fatal to your pet.
When traveling by plane:Many airlines will allow you to travel with your pet on the same flight. Small pets, generally less than ten pounds, can travel in an airline-approved carrier that will fit under your seat. For larger pets, the airline has accommodations in cargo. Be sure to check with your airlines regarding fees and restrictions. Often there is limited space for animals, so if you plan on traveling with your pet you should try to book as early as possible.Pets brought for travel on airlines must be at least eight weeks old and be fully weaned. In addition, airlines will not allow pets that are uncontrollable, ill, in heat or pregnant. Pets should not be sedated for air travel. All pets for air travel will need a recent health certificate (generally within 48 hours of travel) as well as documentation of vaccinations and any medications he/she may be taking.When traveling in cargo, it is important that the crate you choose is large enough for the pet to stand without touching the top, turn around and lay back down comfortably. The crate needs to be clearly marked as LIVE ANIMAL and should also include your name, address, and phone number (a cell phone number is best). You should also include your final destination just in case your pet is misplaced in transit. The inside of the crate must have a food and water cup attached to it and a ziplock bag with some extra food in case of any delays.Smaller pets are easier to travel with you because you can be there to care for him/her. A soft-sided carrier bag is generally all that is needed. Check with your airlines for any size requirements.Upon Arrival at your destination:Many hotel chains and campsites welcome our companion animals as their guests. When booking your room, ask about additional fees for having your pet stay with you as well as any rules. Try not to leave your pet alone in the room for long periods. Remember this is a strange place for him/her and he/she will be nervous if left alone.If you are staying with friends or relatives be certain to ask their permission to bring your pet. Do not assume that just because you love Fido or Kitty so will they. Upon arrival ask your hosts where they would like you to walk your dog and always clean up after him/her. Or ask where you can put the litter box for your cat (they actually have disposable boxes now). Always be respectful of your hosts’ home.So why leave your favorite pets at home? With a little bit of planning, your companion can enjoy in all your family festivities.