In honor of my other favorite traveling companion, an eight-year-old Yorkie named Buddy, here are some quick tips for keeping your traveling pet safe and happy while on the road.
Consult a vet before your pet’s first trip, a long trip or if there might be some health concerns.
If traveling outside the country, ensure your pet is up to date on required vaccinations and whether quarantine will be required.
Request copies of your pet’s health records to bring along in case of emergency.
Note the address and phone number of a 24hr emergency hospital at your destination.
Make reservations for your pet in advance as there are restrictions on how many pets can fly in the cabin on a particular flight.
Fees and regulations vary depending on the airline.
Be sure to check what size/type of carrier (hard or soft) is required.
If your pet must travel in the cargo section of the plane due to size, research the airline’s history of pet-related incidents.
Keep in mind certain breeds with “pushed-in” faces are more prone to health issues while flying.
For pet and human safety, keep pets restrained in a crate that is secured.
Many dogs enjoy sticking their face out of the window but that can be dangerous to ears, eyes and even lungs.
Never leave your pet unattended in a car.
Bring food and water.
Stop for frequent breaks.
In addition to your pet’s permanent id tag, attach a tag with the address and number where you will be staying.
Pack a little bag for your pet companion. Include food, treats, leash and favorite item such as blanket or toy. Familiar items will help them feel more comfortable.
Although I would love to bring Buddy on every trip, it would be selfish and unfair to him if he had to spend most of his time cooped up in an unfamiliar place. Be realistic whether there are enough pet-friendly activities and places that you can explore together.
Readers, any tips I left out for traveling with your pet?
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