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Traveling with your pet can be a little more complicated than you might expect. However, there are some things to keep in mind when traveling domestically and even more for international trips. For example, many people don’t know there are pet-friendly hotels and don’t know the rules of bringing animals on trains and planes, and they often bring their pets on long road trips or vacations without realizing that they need some special considerations. We will cover everything from must-have natural pet products to the best tips and tricks to make traveling with your pet an excellent experience for everyone.
Traveling Internationally with Your Pet
If you’re planning on traveling internationally with your pet, the process is more complicated than just getting on a plane. You’ll need to plan ahead to prepare both your pet and yourself for the trip. The most important thing to know about bringing an animal across international borders is each country has its own set of rules and regulations that you must follow. Make sure to do your research on the specific country’s requirements so that you can be compliant and avoid any penalties or fines. Some things you’ll need to consider when planning an international pet trip include:
- The type of pet you’re traveling with. Some animals cannot travel on certain airlines due to company policies — for example, specific breeds of dogs and cats or exotics like birds, reptiles, and small animals. Additionally, the destination country may have restrictions on what animals may enter and what paperwork is needed. Be sure to do your research and consult with a travel agent if possible!
- Where you’re going. The regulations for animals traveling into a country vary, depending on what country you’re going to and from. Ensure that your pet’s vaccinations and other requirements match the specific destination. This has to be done before you travel, not after. Some countries may also have different quarantine rules for pets entering the country. Preparations for stringent countries may need to start up to six months before traveling if blood tests are required.
- What type of transportation you’ll be taking. If you’re flying with your pet, they will need to be in a carrier that meets the airline’s requirements. Carriers also need to be labeled with your pet’s name and your contact information in case they get lost or misplaced during transport.
- Traveling with your pet can be more expensive than buying yourself a plane ticket, especially for large breed dogs. There are loads of fees associated with transportation, extra care, and other incidentals, depending on what you have to do to prepare them for travel.
These are some of the basics of international travel with a pet. For more information, contact a pet importer in your area or at your target destination to get personalized advice on the best practices for traveling with a pet internationally. If you’re unsure where to start or who is reputable, contact the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) to get started.
Traveling Domestically with Your Pet
If you’re staying within the continental U.S., things will be a lot simpler when traveling with your pet. Pets are allowed on most domestic flights, you can use your own vehicle to get to where you’re going, and there are a variety of pet-friendly hotels to choose from. However, there are still some things you need to keep in mind when traveling with your furry friend. Here are our top eleven tips for traveling with your pet:
- Make sure your pet is comfortable in their carrier. If they’re not used to being in a kennel or carrier, take them on some short car rides around town to get them used to it. This will help make the trip go more smoothly for everyone involved.
- Bring plenty of food and water for your pet, as well as some extra in case of delays or unexpected layovers. Never assume you’ll be able to find what you need at the other end, especially if your pet has special dietary requirements.
- Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all their vaccinations and other necessary medications. Ask your vet for a copy of your pet’s medical records if they need to be shown or used while traveling.
- If you’re driving, make sure to pack a blanket or towel in case your pet gets car sick. And always keep them safely secured in the vehicle with a seatbelt or carrier.
- Bring your pet’s favorite toys and treats along to keep them occupied and calm.
- If you’re traveling by air, check with the airline to see if they have any restrictions on pet size or type. These days, there are increasing restrictions based on breed and size, so make sure you’re well aware of the airline’s policy before your pet’s flight.
- Research any potential hotels or motels you might stay in to ensure they allow pets. If you’re camping, be sure to inquire about pet policies with the campground manager. Make reservations well in advance if necessary.
- Use natural calming supplements for dogs and other pets if your furry friend is prone to anxiety while traveling. Since more than 70% of dogs have been reported to display anxiety-like behaviors, it’s definitely something to consider.
- Make sure your pet has proper identification in case they get lost during your travels. This includes both a microchip and an ID tag with your contact information.
- Pack a first-aid kit for your pet in case of emergencies. This should include items like bandages, soothing antibiotic ointment, and tick/flea removal tools. Some stores and online retailers will sell pre-made kits if you’re unsure what to include.
- Finally, always pack a sense of humor and be prepared for some surprises along the way! Pets can be unpredictable traveling companions, but that’s all part of the fun.
Keep Calm and Travel On
When it comes to traveling with pets, there are some restrictions, but nothing that can’t be worked around. In addition, there is an increasing number of pet-friendly activities and destinations out there for you to enjoy with your furry friend in tow (or on a leash).