Traveling long distances with your pet is an anxiety-inducing situation.
Pets, in general, come with a large amount of responsibility, and planning for a trip involves much more than your suitcase. If you are wondering what measures you can take to make your pet more comfortable at home, or whether your pet can travel in the first place, read on to learn more.
Can I Travel with My Pet?
Some airlines will charge you for transporting animals, others will allow animals in the cabin alongside you, dependent on their status. For instance, service animals can fly in the cabin on certain airlines. Service animals are typically dogs. If you’re thinking, ‘Can cats be service animals?’ take a look at the official guidelines.
To be safe, rather than sorry, enquire directly with your chosen airline.
How Can I Make My Pet Comfortable on The Plane?
Pets will have to travel in a carrier, so obtaining one early is a good idea. Soft-sided carriers are preferable for airlines as it’s easier to fit them underneath your seat. It’s also important to get your pet comfortable with being in a carrier for extended periods.
You can do this by approaching the carrier patiently. Try going out for coffee with your pet and have them lay in their carrier for the duration. Slowly, you can start extending the time they use their carrier. Eventually, they will be able to sleep for the length of the flight.
Placing the carrier in your home with the door open any time they aren’t using it, will also get them comfortable with the item in their space. Having it open and welcoming will make the process easier. Feeding your dog while they are in the carrier and using positive reinforcement can help create a positive association.
If you have to travel alone, there are easy measures you can take to ensure your animal is as comfortable as possible once you’re boots on the ground. Assuming you’re not leaving your pet completely alone, sitters are a great option to help provide care.
The best-case scenario would be those with whom you already have a strong relationship with helping out. Otherwise, there will be local help on hand. You wouldn’t leave your child with a strange babysitter, so take the same steps with your dog sitter. Ensure you:
- Get to know them, create a rapport and make sure you’re confident in their abilities.
- Give them clear instructions. Write it all down so they can keep referring to your guide.
- Leave contact details for emergencies. Make sure to leave your pet’s name, your name, and the contact number of your registered vet.
- Keep any vaccinations up to date, along with flea and worming treatments.
Taking Your Trip
With the appropriate preparation, the trip doesn’t have to be as stressful as first anticipated. You should feel confident leaving your animal in capable hands, or when traveling, feel assured that your animal will enjoy the journey just as much as you. Taking animals on a trip should be exciting.