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Traveling with Pets: Tips for Safety, Comfort & Convenience

Traveling with pets can be difficult and overwhelming, but if you plan ahead, it doesn’t have to be stressful – for you or your furry friend. Here are some tips to help you and your pet travel comfortably and even have a doggone-good time!

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Research Before You Book


Just like humans, pets may need special documentation to travel on commercial flights. It is always a good idea to thoroughly research what is required to have your pet fly with you. Although a road trip gives you more freedom, you will still need to check whether hotels along the way are pet friendly. Tip: If you have a pet that will need to be in a carrier for an extended period of time, it is best not to load a bunch of their toys in the crate with them. It can restrict movement further, and just like their human counterparts, pets can feel claustrophobic or anxious. Instead, place a t-shirt that you or another family member has worn so they can feel close to you as they travel. Talk to Your Veterinarian


Keeping your pet’s vet in the loop about travel plans is essential, especially if your pet is on medication. Schedule an appointment, or at least a call to discuss your pet’s health before you travel. If you don’t already have a copy of their medical history and current medications, then ask for them to print one out for you and pack it for your trip. This could come in handy if your pet needs medical attention during your trip, especially if you need to see an emergency vet.


Safety First


Losing a pet while traveling is unimaginable and scary to think about. One of the first things to do before you set off is to make sure they have a proper fitting harness and leash that has been inspected for wear and tear. If you are unsure if the current harness and leash you own are travel ready, it is recommended you get new ones to be sure, checking the fit with utmost care as animals with anxiety may be more prone to escaping from harnesses if they get spooked. Another thing to consider is getting your pet microchipped (if they aren’t already) and bringing their microchip information with you on your trip.

Plan for More time


Traveling with pets may require more time to get where you need to be, much like traveling with kids. A good rule of thumb while in the airport is to allow an extra 10 – 15 minutes to get to your terminal, and in larger airports asking to get a ride on the golf carts wouldn’t be out of line, especially if you are moving a larger crate with your pet. Plus, most airports have pet potty areas, so stopping at one of those areas may take a little longer as your pet may want to explore and stretch while they can. Snack Smart

Traveling can be stressful for humans so just imagine what it is like for your pet. They are going to places they have never been, interacting with humans they have never met, and potentially being crated, or in a car for longer than they ever have been. Along with anxiety, your pet can experience an upset stomach, so feeding them or giving treats while they are in a moving vehicle or on a flight can cause tummy troubles for them. On the other hand, you should provide fresh water and give them quick drinks throughout the trip to help them stay hydrated – just keep in mind that the more you give them to drink, the fuller their bladder will get, and that may also make them uncomfortable.


We hope this inspires you to start planning a trip with your furry friend, and if you have some great pet-friendly travel tips you can share them with us at WinniWanderer@winni.com. Hearing from you (especially about your pet) will make our day!

 

By Staff Contributor

 


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