How best to travel with your pet

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Our pets are members of our family and very often our best friends. They need our love and care at all times, whether at home or while travelling. Many people choose to leave their pets behind when going on holiday and that is quite understandable. Taking your pet with you requires more effort on your behalf than simply finding someone to look after your pet while you’re away.

Still, if you wish to take your pet with you on holiday, you might realise that it’s not that difficult at all and that they too can have a great time. However, you need to plan carefully and make sure you pack everything you need. So, let’s take a look at some tips for travelling with your pet, which should make the whole experience great for everyone involved.

Destination

Before you start packing the stuff you need for your pet, think carefully if the destination is suitable for them. Let’s say you have a dog or a cat and you’re planning on going to a country with a climate that is unsuitable for your pet. A Chihuahua would not appreciate a skiing holiday in the Alps, just like a Siberian husky would not be too happy to visit Egypt in summer.

On the other hand, if the climate in the area you’re travelling to is not that different from the one your pet is used to, you can simply bring some accessories, such as warm coats, jackets and shoes (yes, shoes are great for hot climates).

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Equipment

The longer your trip, the more equipment you have to bring with you and nobody knows that better than those proud dog owners who want to take their four-legged friends with them. To begin with, they have to find the right crate for their dog, make sure they find an airline that provides the best conditions for travelling dogs and very often have to purchase all the necessary dog supplies online, because they can’t rely on the destination to provide everything they need. Also, they have to bring food and water containers for their pets. As we know, travelling makes everyone hungry and pets are no exception.

Regulations

If you’re travelling abroad, make sure you know if there are any special regulations related to your pet and the destination. Since each country has specific, but different regulations, familiarise yourself with them and see what needs to be done if you wish to take your pet with you. For example, most European countries require a micro-chip and proof of rabies vaccinations for dogs, although the UK, Ireland, Finland and Norway are destinations where an additional tapeworm treatment is needed. So, make sure you get all the relevant information for the country you’re going to.

Preparation

It would be unwise to take your pet with you if it’s not in perfect health to travel. So, visit your vet before the trip to get your beloved friend checked out. Also, try to prepare it for the trip by letting it get used to the travel crate before you actually use it. Make sure the crate is big enough and cosy, so that your pet can feel as relaxed as possible.

If you’re travelling by plane, make sure your pet gets enough exercise before the flight. On the other hand, if you’re driving to your destination, make more frequent breaks and allow your pet to stretch its legs. Finally, don’t feed your dog right before the trip, but at least four hours before you set off.

Means of transport

Pets can travel by plane, train, boat or car, but each of these options has certain challenges. If you’re travelling by plane, for example, you have to check the airline’s policy regarding pets and strictly adhere to it. Also, make sure you book a flight with the least hours and least amount of layovers, so that your pet is not too stressed. Travelling by train and boat is easier and most companies have very lenient rules regarding the transport of pets. Ideally, you can travel by car and have all the freedom to stop whenever you want to allow your pet some rest, fun or playtime.

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Arrival

Once you arrive at your destination, your pet needs to be allowed to get familiar with the new environment. Don’t just leave it in the room and go exploring without it. It would feel abandoned and stressed. If you want to use public transport at your destination, you need to know the rules that regulate travelling of pets. Try to spend as much time as possible with your friend, because that’s one of the main reasons you’ve brought it along, isn’t it?

Travelling with pets does require extra planning and there is always an element of risk involved, such as your pet falling ill and your vet is not there to help you. Still, it is possible to travel with your pet and both you and it can have a great time. After all, who better to share such memories with than your best friend?

Posted by Sienna Penfold

Sienna Penfold

My name is Sienna, and I am a full-time mum and proud owner of two beautiful dogs, Coco and Hulk. I am passionate about my pets and writing too, and found a way to help others by sharing my experience and writing about topics that are found useful.

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