Traveling with your pet may not be the best option, depending on your pet’s personality. For most cats and for dogs that tend to be anxious, for example, it may be better (for both of you) to leave your beloved pet in the hands of a qualified caretaker.
If you have decided that it’s best to bring your pet along, here are some tips to make sure that process is as safe and stress-free as possible.
Traveling by Car
Pictured: Bergan Comfort Carrier
Don’t allow your pet to roam around the car. You have a seatbelt on--they do not, and the chance of getting into a car accident is higher with your pet distracting you. Keeping your pet in a crate is the safest option--safer, also, than using dog restraints or seat belts.
Give your pet plenty of rest stops. “Holding it” for long periods of time can cause urinary tract infections, and after hours of being stuck in a small space, your pet will want to get out and stretch its legs.
Don’t leave your pet alone in the car. Aside from the fact that no pet likes to be left alone in a strange place, temperatures can cause a hazard. Even if it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature in the car can quickly rise to 112 degrees, causing physical trauma to your pet.
It’s also an indicator to potential thieves that you may have valuables, luggage, or even keys inside of the car.
Traveling by Plane
The Human Society of the United States recommends that you “weigh all the risks when deciding whether to transport your pet by airplane.” Air travel is dangerous for your pets and should be a last resort.
Animals with “pushed in” faces are most at risk due to breathing problems, but any animals transported in the cargo hold are also at a high risk.
Until your plane lands and your pet is back in your hands, the workers who would be handling your pet are not trained animal caretakers. Pets are injured, killed, and lost on commercial flights every single year.
If you must fly with your pet, the best option is to take it into the cabin with you if it’s small enough. Call the airline far in advance to learn the immunization and carrier requirements and to reserve your pet’s spot--there’s a limit to how many pets they will let in the cabin.
If your only option is to transport your pet in the cargo hold, read this exhaustive list of precautions and red flags from the Humane Society.
What to Pack for Your Pet
We put together a packing checklist to help you prepare for travel with your pets! Download our Pet Travel Prep Checklist to get ready for your trip in a jiffy!
How to be a Good Houseguest with Your Pet
So your friend or family member gave the green light on bringing your pet along for the visit? That’s great! Although, it may not be as easy as you think... Here are some tips to help your visit go as smoothly as possible.
How to be a Good Host
If you’re the one accepting guests, there are ways you can ensure that your guests feel comfortable and the pet won’t have access to anything hazardous, like poisonous plants or liquid potpourri. Here are some pointers:
How to dog proof your area
On the other hand, if your concern is hosting friends who have allergies to your pets, here’s some helpful advice for preparing for their visit: