Vacations are something we look forward to for weeks, months, maybe even years. But if you’re a pet owner you know only too well the guilt that accompanies such trips – those puppy dog eyes, the wagging tail that says ‘don’t leave me’. Whether it’s three weeks or just a weekend – time away from our pet can be stressful for both parties.
That’s why more people are opting for pet friendly vacations. If you’re planning to take your best friend away with you this year here are some tips and advice.
Traveling by car
> Your pooch can’t call shot gun – The airbag deployment can be dangerous for pets; instead place your pet on the back seat, ideally next to a passenger.
> Buckle up – For ultimate safety your pet needs to be strapped in. Various car seat options are available in cute and comfortable designs. If your pet struggles with car travel a car seat will provide extra security.
> Plan regular stops – You should stop at least every two hours for your pet to stretch it’s legs and have a bathroom break. Take your pet’s favorite ball or toy and have a quick game of fetch.
Traveling by air
> Every airline has different rules regarding pet travel. Before you book your flights be sure to get your airline’s policies to ensure you’re happy with the processes and procedures.
> Air travel will most likely be stressful for your pet, but there are ways to prepare in advance to make things a little easier. Introduce the carrier they’ll be traveling in at home, in advance. Treat it as a normal part of life: let them explore it, sleep in it, and generally get comfortable with it before you travel.
> Put one of your used T shirts in the carrier or something that smells like home or you – this will be very comforting for your pet.
> Take direct flights to minimize time in the air and the added stress of transfers.
> Be aware of temperature. In summer months travel in the morning or at night when temperature is at its lowest. In fall and winter travel in the afternoon when it’s at it’s warmest.
> Make sure your pet is up-to-date with his/her vaccinations and if possible provide a note/certificate from your vet stating your pet is of good health.
> Have two ID tags on your pet: one with his/her information, and the second with yours, including your flight, hotel and contact details.
> Embedded microchips are also a good idea for extra security in case your pet gets lost. In some countries, such as the UK, it’s a legal requirement for dogs to be microchipped. It’s best to be aware of, and comply with, the laws of the country you’re visiting.