An estimated 72 million people in America owns a dog. Of these dog owners, an estimated 60 million travels with them. Plus, there are other types of animals that get to enjoy vacations with their owners, too, such as cats. Hotels, rental cottages, campgrounds and even bed and breakfasts all know this and many are catering to the needs of pets and pet owners. However, this doesn’t mean that there traveling with a pet is easy.
Pets are like children when it comes to traveling. They need and must have certain needs met. If they don’t, the trip can be ruined for everyone. What does this basically mean?
First, it means that as a pet owner, you must think the idea of traveling with your pet over and over again before you decide to act on it. Yes, you may enjoy the idea. You may hate to leave your best furry friend at home. You may even feel guilty at the thought of doing this. But would traveling with your pet be in your pet’s best interest or in your family’s over all best interest?
If you decide to go ahead and travel with your pet, it is now time to consider your pet’s needs. Remember if your pet’s needs are met, he/she will be happier and thus you and your entire family will be happier.
1. Begin by talking to your pet’s vet. Discuss the idea of taking your pet with you on vacation. See if there are any shots that your pet may need before the vaccine. Tell your vet where you plan on going and see if there are any illness factors that your pet could be exposed to in this area. You might even want to discuss the idea of giving your pet a sedative while you are actually in the process of traveling. This may make some of that time in the car, air, etc, a lot easier for your pet to handle. You should also discuss what you should do if your pet develops motion sickness. Finally, you should see if you can get a phone number of a referral vet in the area in which you plan on vacationing in case a health issue should arise.
2. Make sure you have ID for your pet. This will include an ID that is attached to his/her collar that shows your pet’s name, your name, cell phone number. You should also bring along your pet’s vaccine records. If you are thinking about implanting a microchip in your pet, you may get one as cheap as $50.
3. Begin to acquaint your pet with traveling. Take him/her on short car rides just for training purposes. Teach him how to stay in his/her carrier crate for periods of time.
4. Bring along travel supplies for your pet. Your pet will need things just as your human companions will. This can include: food, bottled water, grooming supplies, a first aid kit, a special blanket, leashes, extra collars, disposable bags for cleaning routines, and any medications that may be needed.
5. Don’t allow your pet to roam freely in the car. Just as children, need to learn to sit and behave in cars, so does your pets. Pets can cause accidents. Pets can get hurt in cars. Make sure that your pet is securely sitting within your car. You may be tempted to allow your dog to stick his head out the window to enjoy the breeze. Do note that this can be harmful. The wind and flying debris can cause damage to your pet’s eyes and ears.
Yes, you may enjoy traveling with your pet. You may even have a great trip with him/her. However, you may also have a horrible ordeal you may never wish to repeat, again. This is why you must follow all these steps when traveling with a pet and really consider if you are up to the challenge in the first place.