It’s the Holiday Season and most of us have travel plans to visit family, friends, or go on vacation. Whether or not this is the first time your pet will be accompanying you on your holiday travels, follow these tips to ensure a smooth travel process.
Nothing beats the image of driving down a sunset-lit road with your furry best friend beside you with his head out the window. But have you stopped to think how incredibly dangerous this is? Hundreds of pets get injured or killed every year because they were involved in car accidents where they weren’t properly restrained.
Not only this, but think of what a danger an over-eager dog may pose to a driver if he is allowed free reign in a vehicle. That is why it is important to introduce your pets to pet car seats, pet seat belts, and crates so that he is accustomed to being restrained during long car rides.
It is also important that your pet is well-accustomed to being in cars before you take him on an hours-long road trip. Do this by taking your pet on many short car rides whenever possible. This way, you can also find out if your pet can even tolerate car rides or if he gets too anxious or ill.
If your destination requires travel by plane, there are some precautions you may take to lessen the stress for you and your pet. Whenever possible, book a direct flight to your destination. Booking direct eliminates the worry of your pet being left out on the tarmac during extreme weather conditions or being mishandled by baggage personnel during layovers.
If your pet is traveling below the cabin, don’t be afraid to ask airline personnel if you can watch your pet being loaded and unloaded. You should also make sure you buy a USDA-approved crate for your pet to be able to comfortably sit, stand, and turn around.
Early training is key. The sooner your pet is accustomed to traveling, the less stressful traveling will be for the both of you. Always start early so that you can allocate enough time to take care of your pets needs (food, bathroom, etc.).
Despite all these precautions, sometimes our pets just will not tolerate traveling. In these cases, it is best to have a list of pet kennels, dog sitters, or friends you can rely on to take care of your pet while you’re away.