It is worth traveling with your pet? OF COURSE! With a bit of travel etiquette and a few tips, vacation with your furry friend can be the best summer yet!
3 Basic Travel Tips
- Make sure your traveling companion is microchipped and registered! If they get lost this may be the only way back to you other than a collar for identification.
- Keep current on those vaccinations! Rabies vaccination is the law and if your pet bites someone, YOU are liable and at mercy of the local laws of the state and country you are visiting.
- Getting ready to fly cross country or overseas? Do not wait until the last minute for a health certificate for flying. Some countries require vaccine titers vs. just proof of vaccination. Just traveling by car across the USA? Keep a copy of your vaccination records just in case you need to show proof of current vaccines to where you may be staying.
Now that we covered basic travel, what about lodging? Do all places allow pets? Can’t you just sneak them in?
Unfortunately not, not only is that rude, it’s unwelcome and it is the fastest way for lodges, B&Bs and hotels to quickly say NO to allow pets in their facilities. So don’t do it. Don’t be one of those people who ruin it for everyone else. Do your research and ask if you don’t see a ‘pet allowed’ area on their website or brochure.
Going camping? Camping is great either for a cat or a dog! Both can have a great experience, just be sure your pet is ready for it. Many cats love the outdoors. Cats do need a harness and leash and some sort of mesh enclosure for safety if not with their person. Dogs need to be kept under control at all times. Never keep a cat or a dog in an RV without a working running generator to keep them cool. If you are uncomfortable, they are ten times more uncomfortable since they are wearing fur coats and do not sweat like we do to keep cool.
So what happens if your cat or dog is great when you get to your destination but is a total disaster before you get there? What can you do? Call your vet! That is what they are there for!
Here are 5 easy tips though before asking for a sedative from your vet for travel.
- Always have a carrier or crate large enough to accommodate your pet. Never have one too cramped. If they cannot get up and turn around, it is too small.
- Traveling longer than 8 hours? Or cross country? Your cat carrier needs to accommodate a small litter box.
- Does your cat or dog get car sick? Do not feed them after midnight the day before travel. Water is OK! Speak to your vet though about medication for car sickness.
- Cover the crate with a sheet – not a towel or a blanket – you want air to move.
- Using pheromone therapy for both cats and dogs can be beneficial, as well as natural herbs for calming.
If all else fails and your pet doesn’t fit any of the qualifications above it is OK to contact a pet sitter or a boarding facility. Have a wonderful summer with your furry companion!