How to Make Traveling Easier with My Pet

The days are getting longer and the sun will be shining soon! It’s the perfect time to get out and about. If you are getting ready to travel with your dog or cat, there are a few things you will want to do to ensure smooth transit.

Traveling with Your Pet By Plane

First, if you are traveling by plane, be sure to check with your destination about travel requirements to ensure your travel is as smooth as possible. For example, some states, such as Hawaii, proof of a current Rabies vaccine is required prior to entry and have a quarantine period. Have an idea of what the course of events will be as you get your pet onboard; this can usually be found online on your airline’s website.

Traveling with a pet - corgi dog puppy and a cute tabby cat leaned out of a car window

To help things go smoothly, prepare and plan before traveling with a pet.

Be sure to follow all airline regulations and requirements for pet travel and have all necessary paperwork submitted so boarding is a breeze. Some airlines require additional documentation signed by your veterinarian in order to allow your dog or cat in the cabin with you.

Traveling with Your Pet By Car

If you are driving, be sure that your pet is comfortable in the car. Consider a backseat hammock and seat belt for them while you are driving for safety. Take lots of breaks if you are driving for many hours, not only for you, but also for your pet to get some fresh air. Try not to open a carrying crate for your cat unless it is absolutely necessary and in a safe location. Fearful cats are likely to try to escape, so be sure you open the carrier in a quiet and calm location. Make sure that you have your dog on a leash for walks and potty breaks in different places, so if the road noise makes them scared, they aren’t tempted to bolt. Most canine friends enjoy a good car ride, but if they become anxious in the car, you can take them on several short trips as your longer trip draws near. This will help to get them used to being in the car more often and will encourage them to be more relaxed in the car with you.

Puppies and younger dogs can be acclimated to car rides relatively easily. Taking them with you to the store, going to pick up family or friends, or just a joy ride will help puppies easily get used to being in the car with you. Some of them really love the feeling of the wind in their ears! Unfortunately, for some pets travel is scary and uncomfortable. Remember, you know your pet best and if you feel that they need some extra security and love, use things like calming treats or pheromone sprays to help comfort them.

Keeping Your Pets Safe and Calm During Transit

Traveling with a pet - Small dog maltese in carrier with cat and bag waiting to go on a trip

If your pet is uncomfortable traveling, panicked, or stressed, speak with your veterinarian about medications.

Treats and toys are nice for longer stretches of driving or flying if your pet is permitted to be in the cabin. Leaving your pet unattended with toys can be dangerous and presents a choking hazard if your pet is not directly supervised. For this reason, pets that travel in cargo should have a comfortable place to relax, but small toys and chews should not be given.

If your pet is uncomfortable traveling, becomes panicked, or can be destructive when stressed, speak with your veterinarian about medications that may be helpful for long travel stints, such as oral sedative medications, anti-nausea medications, and probiotics.

Spring is on the way and we can’t wait for you to get out there!

If you are planning international travel, be sure to get an International Travel Certificate from your veterinarian and check with your destination about other travel requirements.