By: Song E.
Whether you’re moving or taking your pet along for your trip out of town, traveling with your companion is not an easy task––especially when it comes to air travel. You have to make sure they are healthy, they have all the require vaccinations, and you have to follow a specific set of regulations. Whether it’s domestic or international travel, there a many things to prepare for and be aware of.
Traveling by Car
If you’re moving or going on a long trip with your pet, traveling by car is the best option. You don’t have to worry about leaving your pet in someone else’s care, and you don’t have to worry about the regulations of public transportation. There are no regulations for traveling in the car, since it is your car, but here are some tips for the road.
Give your Pet their own Space
Designate a space in the car for your pet. This could be their kennel or even the backseat. Letting them roam the car is dangerous because they can be a distraction to the driver and if an airbag deploys they could get seriously injured. Cats are recommended to always be kept in a kennel since they aren’t typically comfortable traveling in cars.
Take Rest Stops Frequently
Stop often to give your pet a chance to do their business and get exercise. Remember never to leave them in the car alone!
Traveling by Plane
Air travel with pets can be a little more complicated and not recommended unless completely necessary. I traveled overseas with my dog and learned a lot about research and preparation before traveling. These are some things you should be aware of and other tips for traveling by plane.
Check Airline Regulations
Make sure the airline you are flying with allows pets. Also make sure you check to see how much you will have to pay for your pet’s travel.
Check Destinations Regulations
It is also important to look up what regulations your destination has on pets––this is especially important if you are traveling to another country. Some countries will require you to give your pet certain vaccinations and you may have to carry specific paperwork regarding your pet and its health. Some countries may not allow certain animals to enter, and some may require you to get your pet its own passport.
Fly in the Cabin
If possible, take your pet in the cabin with you. Most airlines allow cats and small dogs to ride in the cabin. You won’t have to worry about your pet being mishandled or uncomfortable.
Don’t Feed your Pet (too much) Before Travel
Your pet should be okay without food the day (or half day) before you travel, especially if it is a long flight – although always inform your veterinarian what is a safe amount (especially if your pet takes medication). They won’t be able to eliminate during a long flight, so make sure you let them right before going to the airport.
- Don’t use pet tranquilizers unless told to by a veterinarian
- Use direct flights
- Bring a photo of your pet
- Allow your pet to get used to a kennel beforehand