Holiday Pet Travel Tips
The holiday season can be stressful, especially when traveling! The last thing you want to have to worry about is your furry friend’s well-being during this time. A little bit of planning and preparation can save you a lot of heartache! If you don’t have the opportunity to bring your pet along, please remember to check for lodging early, since many options may book up quickly. Always check your pet’s vaccination status 2-3 months prior to your trip. The goal is for all of them to be up to date at least 4 weeks prior to traveling, since boostering vaccines right before lodging will put their immune system at risk.
However, if you have the opportunity for a furry guest to join you, here are some tips.
1. Plan your trip
· Will there be potty breaks and/or relief areas?
· Will there be pet friendly lodging nearby in case of an emergency?
2. Pack ahead of time
· When traveling, make a list of everything you would need (food, water, collars, leashes, harness, crates, vaccine documents, toys, medications, etc.).
· If you will be earning some airline miles with your canine friend, a toy or chewy food may be helpful to bring along to help their inner ear adjust to the altitude when flying. If they will be traveling in a crate, no loose objects can be in the crate with them, as they may pose as a danger to your pet if there is turbulence. Also make sure the crate is only big enough for them to stand up and turn around.
3. Train accordingly
· When traveling by car, train or even plane, it’s best to prepare your dog. If they don’t travel often, get them accustomed to a routine. Start having them go for rides in the car weeks in advance. Crate training them for the car is highly recommended for their safety and security, even more so for long distances. If they cannot be free at your feet in the plane or train this will also get them more comfortable with the process.
· Some commands like down and settle can be a tremendous help when driving, allowing you to keep more attention to the road when traveling then constantly checking if your pet is trying to join you in the front seat.
· Mental and/or physical stimulus before a trip also helps calm them and take the edge off! A tired dog is a happy dog!
For any further questions on travel tips, be sure to ask your veterinarian!
Safe travels and Happy Holidays!