Caught the travel bug but still feeling lonely? Well, there is one travel partner who will never complain or give you the wrong directions! That’s right — your fluffy friend can join you!
Your cat or dog can make the best companion. But it is crucial you understand how to take your pet into unknown circumstances safely. Their well-being is your responsibility.
Just follow these steps, and you and your adventure buddy are guaranteed a good time!
Get Your Paperwork Straight
When crossing borders, even state lines, with an animal — it is vital you have all your documents in order. Without up-to-date vaccination status and health certificates, they may turn you away at some border crossings.
Double-check with your vet that your pet’s medical history is correct. Also, check the customs website for information about traveling animals.
To make flying smoother, consider the Emotional Support Animal Registration of America. While airlines are not legally required to let ESA on board, some specific airlines like Singapore Airlines will make exceptions when you have an official ESA letter.
When heading out on the open road with your pet, there are a few rules you need to follow:
- Keep your pet in the back seat. Airbags are designed for humans and could injure your animal when deployed.
- Cats need to stay in carriers. Most cats are uncomfortable in loud moving cars; a strapped-down carrier is the most comfortable option for travel.
- Rest often. Your dog will need to go on a walk more often than you do, so schedule some extra time for breaks.
- Heads stay inside! It is tempting to let your dog’s head out the window, tongue flapping and all. This poses the danger of flying particulates and cold air in the animal’s lungs.
- Does it even need to be said? Don’t put your dog in the back of an open pickup truck!
Stay on Leash
When you reach your destination, you may want to let your little one roam free and explore. But new environments can be stressful and can make some animals run away.
Cats especially need to stay on their leash in new areas. Consider attaching a bell to your cat’s collar to make keeping track easier. A bell also helps stop kitty from hunting local wilderness and potentially ingesting a diseased animal.
If you usually let your dog lead on hikes, check the local rules and follow their off-leash hours and locations.
Other Ways to Travel
If you plan on taking any trains or boats as part of your journey, make sure you know their company policy before showing up at the entrance. As a rule of thumb, never expect anyone to accommodate your animal without a prior agreement.
You can’t afford a sudden change of plans when it comes to your animal.
Traveling with a pet can be rewarding and fun beyond any solo trip.
Taking care of your animal should be the first thought on your mind. Carry extra food, carry extra litter — be ready for anything.