For many pet lovers, half the fun of travel and a vacation evaporates when the thought of leaving a pet behind crops up. However, travelling with a pet is always not easy and meticulous planning has to be carried out, maybe not as fussily as buying a diamond ring from Australian Diamond Company but definitely close to what is required for any other family member.
Here are a few tips to make it easy for you if you intend to vacation with a pet beside you.
· Have the pet’s medical condition thoroughly checked – A visit to a pet is mandatory for a complete wellness check as well as vaccination and getting the required certificates. For travel to certain countries you have to microchip your pet for identification which the vet will do for you. Renew the prescriptions and discuss sedation that may be needed. Check and treat for fleas and ticks and have the nails trimmed. All these procedures are at your end, but you should not stop here. Research the Internet for vets at your destination or even along the way if you have planned for a road trip.
· Preparing for the trip – This largely depends on your mode of travel and will vary accordingly.
A car trip is the safest way to travel with your pet provided your pet is used to it. If your pet is not used to car travel, acclimatise it first with short runs before. Keep your pet on the back seat properly restrained with a seat belt or in a travel crate. A pet on the loose in a car apart from being a distraction will also be susceptible to injuries in a crash. During the trip, stop every three to four hours to walk your pet and give it food and water.
Travelling by air is very stressful for your pet, especially if it is not allowed in the cabin with you. Pets have to be kept in a carrier during flight and a few steps need to be taken before starting off. Give your pet water just before being put in the crate but do not feed it for at least six to eight hours before putting the crate on the flight. Carry vaccination certificates and ID tags. The tags should be attached to the collar and kept in the carrier.
· Pack for your pet – If you have carefully ticked off every item while packing for your family you should do the same for your pet too. A sturdy leash, old familiar bed and blanket, all medications, brush, pet first aid kit, toys and chew items and waste removal bags are a must-take along. Carry baby wipes for easy cleaning as well as plenty of food and water. Packing all these things and carting them with you becomes easy on a road trip but for plane trips, extra luggage charges will always be a concern. However, the welfare of your pet should far exceed any budgetary restrictions.
· Book pet friendly hotels – While booking accommodation at your destination, book pet friendly hotels. Research the Internet and you will surely get a lot of them. Alternately, you can visit a social media site like Facebook and like this page of a matching hotel to get all its details or find ones with similar facilities. Many restaurants too welcome pets with owners and you can make a list of them too.
These are some of the tips that you will do well to follow when you travel with your pet. However, it is advisable to keep in mind that your pet will need more time than you to get used to new surroundings and hence it is necessary that you bestow it with more than the usual attention.