Tugging Pets Along on a Trip
or use a relaxing scent like lavender to make a pet feel comforted.
Carrier sizes and legal travel tips.
If you’re driving long distances look for carriers that will accommodate your pet plus any extras. “For our three cats we used mediumsized dog kennels, big enough for each cat and their litter box,” says Jen. “For shorter car trips use wee-wee pads to prevent bathroom accidents.”
When flying, get acquainted with your airline’s rules regarding pet travel. Depending on the size of your pet, they might suggest a crate instead of a carrier. If flying internationally, your pet will also require a microchip along with documents officially prepared by a veterinarian certifying your pet is rabies-free and update with their vaccinations.
Make plenty of pit stops.
“Frequent pit stops are important for pets to stretch their legs and have a bathroom break,” says Jen. For dogs that will only urinate on their favorite tree, vets recommend practicing the art of eliminating on cue. Start practicing before your trip, watch for when your dog is circling an area and give them a verbal cue such as “hurry up” to prompt elimination. The goal is to use the cue as soon as your dog is about to go. Afterwards reinforce their good behavior with a treat. Making sure your pets go to bathroom is very important for optimal health.
Keep them hydrated.
Jen says when she was making her move cross country she made sure all her animals had their essentials like food, towels, toys and especially lots of water. “I specifically shoved glasses of water in their faces to encourage them to drink.” Keeping a pet hydrated is crucial for their health. Using ice cubes or collapsible bowls make it easy for any pet to drink and feel good on long trips.
“At night we stayed at pet-friendly hotels and let the cats out of the carriers,” says Jen. “It was very strange to have all three cats roaming around in the hotel rooms.” She used online sites to find pet-friendly places to sleep for the night. Pet-friendly hotels make it easy for everyone to get a stress-free night of sleep.
The next time you plan on taking your pets away on holiday, don’t stress out. Remember to make frequent pit stops, offer lots of water and surround them with their favorite things. For international travel, get your pet micro-chipped and consult the vet about any official documents that will be required at your destination. These are just some of the ways you can be sure your pets will have a pleasant travel experience no matter the distance.