Traveling With Your Pets Doesn't Have to Be A HeadacheHitting the road and taking to the friendly skies is challenging enough during November and December. Add a pet to the mix and things can get downright stressful. If you decided to take your furry friend with you to your holiday destination, read this first. A little pre-planning will make traveling with a pet much easier this holiday season.
Tip #1: Know the RulesTaking your kitten or pup aboard a flight? It’s not as simple as buying a pet carrier and a plane ticket. Requirements and regulations differ from airline to airline. We recommend calling the airline to determine what is necessary to bring your pet along.
You will also need to find out if there are additional costs to bring your animal. Pet flying fees typically start around $100 per one-way trip. If you plan to travel by train, Amtrak also has rules and fees for bringing along a pet. Dogs must be under 20 pounds.
Tip #2: Plan the Menu
Do not forget to pack your pet’s meals and snacks. While you are on the road, rails, or skies, your pet will get hungry (just like we do). Portion out pet food into individual plastic bags to make sure you bring the correct amount of meals.
Gather your pet’s favorite treats to offer along the journey. Remember your pet needs water as well. Bring your own water and food bowls to make for easy and clean at meal times – no matter where you go.
Tip #3: Get Comfortable
Make the travel experience as comfy as possible for your pet. Do a trial run if your pet needs to spend an extended amount of time in a carrier. Let them get acclimated to the confined space.
You can slip your cat or dog treats while they rest in the bag. Contact the airline or train and ask if there are any restrictions on carrier size. For road warriors, consider purchasing a harness to keep your pup safe while riding in the car.
Make your dog a comfortable seat with cozy blankets to rest on. The ASPCA says the backseat is the safest place for dogs. Do not leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. On warm days, cars quickly become stifling hot, and cold days do not provide a safe alternative.
Tip #4: Talk to Your VetBefore you make any final decisions about taking your pet to a new location, get in contact with your animal’s medical provider. Ask them if they think it is safe to bring your dog in an airplane or your cat on a long car ride.
Find out if your vet recommends any doctors where you are traveling in case of an emergency. Do not give your cat or dog any over the counter medication without running it by their vet first. If their doctor prescribed medication in the past, make sure it hasn’t expired before giving it again.
Tip #5: Watch Out For the Holiday Cheer
Holiday festivities bring lots of potential threats to pets. Remember, there are many foods that your cat and dog cannot eat. Do not feed them chicken or turkey bones, chocolate, or fatty meats.
Decorations and miscellaneous wrapping paper also pose a threat. Clean up broken lights or ornaments so they don’t cause your pet injury. Candles may also tempt a curious cat or become the victim of a wayward dog tail. Ribbons and wrapping paper could be choking hazards for animals that love to chew.