Dog sitting in suitcase ready to travel.

Getting into the car (or boarding a plane, train, bus or boat) is a pretty big ask for some pets, and the results can be mixed at best. Indeed, they might decide not to accompany their owners (despite the fear of separation). That being said, there are loads of pets that are at ease traveling as long as their people are nearby, which makes adventures more attainable, comfortable, and memorable. Traveling with your pet might sound like a great idea, but without certain precautions and preparations, the situation can cause unnecessary stress for pets and people alike.  

Together Forever

For many pet owners, a trip is just no fun if they have to leave their pet behind. While there are some incredible boarding facilities and devoted pet sitters out there, nothing beats the thrill of traveling with your pet. 

How to Put Safety First

The best way to achieve a positive experience is to put your pet’s safety first. Start with their identification. Are they microchipped, and does the national database have all of your current information? If you happen to get separated while traveling with your pet, hopefully they will be scanned eventually and brought back to you. Additionally, be sure they are sporting a current ID tag firmly affixed to their collar.

In Style

Depending on the trip, you’ll have plenty to do to make sure your pet’s accommodations are complete. Each airline has their own requirements, but it’s safe to say that you’ll be required to show your pet’s medical records for every entity. A health certificate is essential; it details current vaccinations, health history, and more.

The Spot

Whether you’re hitting the open road for a long weekend or traveling with your pet out of state, they should have their own travel crate. This keeps them safe in your vehicle’s open cabin, but can also relieve any stress or fear. Most pets that fly must be crated, as well. If you haven’t crate trained your pet yet, now is the perfect time!

A high-quality harness can be tethered to the backseat seat belt to keep your pet restrained. Do not allow or encourage your pet to freely roam the vehicle. 

Tips of the Trade

Make frequent stops for your pet to get outside, stretch their legs, and answer nature’s call. Always offer fresh water and a treat or two. A bit of exercise can reduce feelings of anxiety.

Some pets get a little nauseous while traveling. You can avoid tummy troubles by feeding them long before you depart. Space out their meals so they don’t end up digesting larger portions while in motion.

Be sure that your pet enjoys cross-ventilation. They may want to stick their head out of the window of the moving vehicle, but try to limit that as associated injuries are common. 

When Traveling With Your Pet

Once you’ve booked accommodations, planned the route, and decided upon activities, be sure to include the following items when traveling with your pet:

  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Food/water
  • Bowls
  • Snacks
  • Toys
  • Blankets or other bedding
  • Waste management supplies
  • Numbers of veterinarians or emergency hospitals in the area you’re visiting or passing through

Full Speed Ahead (Not Really)

If you have additional questions about traveling with your pet, please call us at (732) 677-2180. Our veterinarians and staff members are always here for you at True Care Veterinary Hospital.