Traveling with a pet can make your experience much more enjoyable – after all, your pet is your best friend. Traveling with a pet can also be tricky, and needs some preparation. Check out a few of our tips for traveling with a pet below.
Before You Go…
Remember that planes, trains and cars were not designed with pets in mind. Whether your pet is a dog, cat, a rabbit, etc., make sure you have the proper size crate. Your pet should be able to get up and stretch inside the crate.
If you are flying, check your airline’s policies about traveling with your pet and determine if you will need a health certificate from your vet. BringFido.com details airline pet policies regarding whether pets may fly in the passenger cabin or below with baggage. Most U.S. carriers allow a small pet, typically 22 pounds or less, to fly in a carrier in the passenger cabin.
Check with your veterinarian before you travel to see if there may be any vaccination requirements, weather concerns or any reason why it might make more sense to leave your pet at home. For example, if you are flying to a destination that requires multiple connections, that is very stressful for a pet. When flying with a pet, nonstop flights make the most sense.
Whether you are crating a dog or a cat, let your pet explore the carrier on their own well before the trip.
Pet expert Cesar Milan recommends practice sessions with your dog in the crate. After you close the carrier door, leave the room for 15 minutes or so, and then come back. Open the door of the crate and let your dog come out when he or she is ready. This will reduce any anxiety when you have to crate your dog for a trip. Before crating the dog, be sure to wear your pet out with a long walk so that he or she will be more likely to rest in the crate.
Never leave a leash on a dog or a cat in a crate, because the leash could get caught and choke them.
Although there is no federal law against riding with a dog or cat in your lap, most animal welfare agencies and AAA caution against it. If you are in an accident, your unsecured pet will go flying. Crates or a pet safety harness that can be attached to a seatbelt are pets traveling in a car.
Airline requirements and fees for transporting a pet vary. Sometimes a comfort or therapy pet will receive special consideration for flying in the passenger cabin with you.
Cesar Milan doesn’t recommend medicating a dog for travel. He suggests putting your dog’s favorite blanket, stuffed toy or bone in the crate to comfort and calm him. For extra calm, he suggests rubbing a little lavender oil on your hands and then giving your dog a deep tissue massage at the base of his head or the beginning of his spine.
Giving a cat or other pet a favorite blanket or toy is also recommended over medication, and a cat would also benefit from a lavender aromatherapy massage.
Before you pack up your pet, it’s important to make sure that you book a vacation rental that is pet-friendly. If you are interested in another resort, but can’t tell whether it’s pet-friendly, give us a call at (877) 477-7368. ResorTime travel concierges are standing by.
Sources: http://www.cesarsway.com/tips/seasonal/cesars-travel-tips; http://www.fodors.com/news/travel-with-pets-tips-6521.html ; http://traveltips.usatoday.com/travel-long-distances-cat-1606.html]