Every year, more and more hotels as well as airplanes are catering to our pets and that is why many people are now considering taking their pet with them when they travel. However, before you start your trip you need to know how to prepare yourself and your pet for a safe and enjoyable experience.
If you’re thinking of travelling with pets to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program then you should check with ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) for you and read the info box for your pooch.
Basic Essentials: The first thing that you need to think about are your pet’s essentials. You’ll need to pack:
- Extra food & treats
- Favorite toys
- Sleeping blanket
Travelling pets on the go….
Before heading out on your next adventure, talk with your veterinarian before leaving. This is very important if your pet is traveling for the first time. If you are travelling to another country you will also need to check what vaccinations are required.
Also today most countries require that your pet is micro-chipped and many countries are also part of the Pet Passport scheme, which makes it easier to travel abroad. Your vet will be able guide you to the procedures, and obtain your own pet passport for your travelling pet.
Traveling pets Check list:
- Even though your accommodations may be pet friendly, call ahead and ask what services they provide for pets, and if there is good pet friendly areas around the hotel that would be suitable for daily walks.
- Put a second tag on your pet with the phone number and address of the place you will be staying. In case of emergency make sure you have taken medical records for your pet.
- It’s a great idea to take some time and find a veterinarian close to the place you will be staying. If you are staying at a hotel, they should be able to provide you with a list.
Tips while on the road
- In order to make your pet feel more comfortable take add his favorite toy or blanket in his crate or backseat.
- Don’t let your pet stick his head or paws outside the car. This can be dangerous for a number of reasons, such as ear damage, lung infection or hitting an object to close to the car.
- While driving take rest breaks. It is very important that your pet gets some exercise and a chance to relieve themselves. Take breaks about every 2-3 hours while on the road.
- Hydrate. Make sure that you have lots of water and a great idea is to freeze some of the water so that it stays cool over the trip, perfect for hot summer days.
- A doggie seat belt or secure crate should be used while transporting pets via car
- Don’t leave your pet alone. One of the most important things is not to leave your pet alone in the car. On hot summer days the temperature in a car can reach 110 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
Tips for flying with Pets
- Buy an approved airline carrier that will be suitable and comfortable for your pet. A pet carrier should be big enough so that your dog can stand and turn around with ease.
- In order to keep your pet feeling content, add his favorite blanket or a smelly t-shirt of yours to his travel crate.
- Take two sets of your pet’s papers if you are flying outside the country. One securely attached to your pet’s crate, and the extra in your carry on luggage.
- Put ID tags on the carrier and your pet with all contact information from home and your new location.
- Before crating your dog for the journey, take your dog out for an extended play and walk. This will ensure that your dog will feel tired and more likely fall asleep during the flight.
- Make sure to check with your airlines and understand the pet travel polices. All airlines have different procedures, pricing and policies, some even offer flying club miles. Try and find an airline that will be the best option for you and your dog.
- Do a Google search and check the history of that airline in regards to it’s history on injured or lost pets.
- Don’t book your ticket until you’ve talked to someone at the airline and can also book your dog on the same flight. Some airlines limit the amount of pets per airplane.
- Flying to the US: Obtain an Export Health Certificate from your vet, within 10 days before your flight. This is basically a ‘fit-to-fly’ letter and must be on the vet’s letter-headed paper. Alternatively, if you have a pet passport you can get it stamped by the vet and use this as the Export Health Certificate.
- 24 to 48 hours before your flight, it’s a good idea to call the airline and reconfirm that you will be traveling with your pet.
- Mark “Live Animal” on the top and side of the carrier, with directional arrows indicating the proper position of the carrier.
- Extreme hot and cold temperatures can pose a health risk to pets. In summer, choose early morning or late evening flights. In winter, choose mid-day flights. Whenever possible, book nonstop or direct flights and avoid weekend and holiday travel.
- When boarding the plane ask the flight attendant if you can speak to the pilot and tell everyone your pet is flying on the plane with you today.