As the holidays near, it is likely that you may be traveling with a pet or two. Sometimes it’s easier than hiring a pet sitter. And sometimes, you just enjoy having your fur-friend along for the ride. Either way, there are safety measures you must ensure when taking your pet with you on any trip.

The Basics for Traveling with Your Pets

Just like at home, your pet will have some basic needs when traveling outside your city or town. A quick trip around the block also requires some safety measures, but we’ll be discussing longer trips for these purposes. Like any human, pets need food, water, and bathroom breaks. So don’t forget the essentials:

  1. Food and water + bowls
  2. Leash
  3. Pet carrier – depending on the size of the pet and/or how you’re traveling
  4. Seat belt – depending on the size of the pet and/or how you’re traveling

It seems pretty obvious, but it’s at least a good checklist to have before heading out the door. You wouldn’t want to get on the road, just to turn around and forget that bag of food.

Type of Transportation for Traveling with Your Pets

The necessities will change based on the type of travel you will be doing with your pet. Traveling by car will typically be easier. Traveling by air will take some extra steps as you’ll need to deal with the airline as well as federal air regulations.

When Traveling with Your Pets by Car

Based on the size of your pet, or the type of car you’re traveling in, you’ll want to consider whether you’re going to use a pet carrier or a pet seat belt. Both are available at most local pet stores. A pet carrier can be beneficial for your smaller pets that do better confined. As long as you make sure it is securely fastened or snuggly place in the car. You don’t want a bumpy road to be moving the carrier around.

For a larger dog, or dogs that do better outside of small spaces, you can purchase a seat belt extension that will secure the dog in the car as well as attach to their harness or collar. Just like any human, you want to make sure your pet is safe from sudden stops, sharp turns, and in the worst-case scenario, an accident.

While it may seem fun to let your pet stick his or her head out the window and jump around the car at will, it’s just not safe for them. We highly suggest using one of these two methods when traveling by car.

When Traveling with Your Pets by Plane

It’s best only to bring your pet along for plane trips if they are small enough to fit under the seat. You can purchase a crate that specifically fits the size requirements of an airplane, and they are marked as such in the store. Some airlines will charge a fee, and some require advanced notice. So, it’s really best to check with your airline before planning a trip with your pet. Don’t forget the essentials for your furbaby. And remember that it can be stressful in a new environment, so keeping them calm is very important.

If you must travel with a larger pet by air, there are very rigorous rules for each airline. There are specific shipping containers, special shipping passes, and more. If you are shipping your pet in the cargo area, you must contact the airline first. They can walk you through the requirements and explain any accompanying fees.

Anything else?

Some pets just don’t travel well. If that’s the case, hiring a pet sitter or boarding your pet may be the better option. However, if it seems like your pet is a little anxious and can still travel, but could use some help, there are options for you. Our office can prescribe anti-anxiety and calming medications for your pet. So, if you’re thinking about traveling with your pet, give us a call. We’ll be happy to talk about the best and safest way for you to enjoy the holidays together.