If you're planning on taking a vacation with your pet, you may want to do a little advance prep to make sure you both have fun and stay safe on your journey. Keeping your furry friend with you while you're on the road has its benefits- you don't have to stress about boarding your dog or cat at a kennel or hiring a pet sitter for the duration of your trip. Best of all, you don't have to miss a moment of snuggles with your four-legged companion! However, there are several things you must consider when taking your pet with you on a trip. It's important to ensure that your dog or cat will have everything he or she needs to remain calm, comfortable, and happy for the length of the trip. Here are nine tips for a successful vacation with your pet, whether you're traveling by air, land, or sea.
1. Be Direct
If you're flying with your pet, try to keep his or her time in the air as brief as possible. Whenever you can, select direct, nonstop flights to your destination rather than flights with one or more layovers. Not only will this keep your pet's stress level at a minimum, but it will also be far more convenient for you to easily and quickly get from Point A to Point B. It also greatly reduces the risk of any separation from your pet if you don't have to change planes!
2. Get a Great Crate
When it comes to pet crates, not all of them are created equal! Your furry friend will need a USDA-approved shipping crate to be allowed to board a flight. Look for a crate that allows your pet enough room to comfortably stand, and take care to line it with absorbent bedding or shredded paper towels in case of in-flight accidents. Be sure to put your pet's name, your name and phone number, and a photo of your pet on the outside of the crate in a visible area, and write "Live Animal" somewhere it will be seen. This will help airline personnel get your pet back to you quickly once you land.
3. Chow Time!
If you and your pet are embarking on a road trip, make sure to schedule feeding and watering times into your travel plans. For airplane trips, adding a small bag of food outside the crate can help airline personnel feed your pet in case of a delay, and it's a good idea to freeze a small dish of water so that it doesn't spill but thaws in time for your pet to drink it when he or she gets thirsty in the cargo hold.
4. Plan for Pit Stops
If your pooch is coming along with you on a road trip, it is important to make sure that you're scheduling plenty of bathroom breaks for the long drive. Pets- especially dogs- need to go at least once every two to three hours, and it's also important to give them the opportunity to run around and stretch their legs. This will cut down on the possibility of backseat accidents, and keep your pet happy for the length of the trip.
5. Alleviate Anxiety
If your pet is prone to anxiety or doesn't like change, he or she may find traveling extra stressful. If you are unable to leave your pet with a trusted sitter or in a reputable kennel and must take him or her with you, ask your vet about CBD hemp oil for dogs. Many humans take CBD or CBD crystal products to help relieve symptoms of anxiety, and there is evidence that it works for dogs as well. If your veterinarian agrees that a dose of CBD prior to travel may help calm your dog down, make sure to take some with you on your journey.
6. Buckle Up!
On a road trip, it's essential that you secure your pet's crate with a seat belt for maximum safety. This will keep the crate from sliding around in the backseat and making your pet anxious or nauseated. Additionally, in the event of a collision, your pet will be well-protected in his or her crate with minimized risk of injury. Just like with humans, it's best to buckle up your pet every time you hit the road, even if it's just a short trip to the vet or groomer. However, it is especially important when you are planning a trip that will keep you on the road for hours at a time.
7. Practice Makes Perfect
Is this your four-legged friend's first time traveling by car? If so, it's a good idea to start getting him or her used to your vehicle prior to taking off on your travels. About a week or two before your road trip, start crating your pet and bringing him or her on car rides, increasing the length each time. By the time you officially hit the road, your pet will be a veteran road tripper!
8. Bring Vet Records
When crossing state lines by car, you may be asked for a copy of your pet's vaccination records. Some states require visible proof of a rabies vaccination before allowing you and your pet across the border. By keeping your pet's vaccination records with you throughout the trip, you won't get caught with an unexpected delay. This is also good advice if you and your pet are traveling by air- certain airlines ask to see vaccination records before admitting pets to the cargo hold of the plane. Better safe than sorry!
9. Pack For Your Pet
When you're going on a trip, you make sure to pack everything you may need while you're away from home. Your dog or cat is no exception! Make a list of all the things your pet will need for the duration of your trip, including food and water bowls, leashes, brushes, food, and treats, and pack them a little suitcase of their own travel supplies. This will save you and your pet a great deal of hassle, and give you more time to enjoy your vacation!
Your pet is one of the most important parts of your life- it's totally normal to want to bring him or her along on all your travel adventures! By being prepared and making a point to think about all the things your cat or dog will need throughout the trip, you can have a fun-filled, stress-free vacation and come home with a lifetime of happy memories!