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Traveling presents many challenges when their fur friends are involved, but minor inconveniences should not deter you from enjoying your holidays with your animal pal.
Statistics from the American Pet Products Association shows that between 2006 and 2016, pet owners became twice as likely to bring their pets along on trips, and a whopping 40% of pet owners have brought their pets along on a trip at least once, which says a lot about how easy it has become.
With the right preparation, you too can enjoy a stress-and-hassle-free vacation with your pet. Here are 7 top tips for travelers who want to bring along their pets.
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1. Get Your Pet an ID
You should always have tags on your pet that carry its name and your phone number. You can also have them micro-chipped so its unique ID number can be identified and traced back to you with a simple scan if you lose your pet.
2. Ensure Your Pet is Ready for the Trip
Animals can be terrified or become agitated in noisy places or confined spaces.
Know if your pet has the personality to face up to the unpleasant stimulation en route, keeping in mind that traveling to new places most certainly entails the exposure to new faces, strange smells, and different environments.
Consider talking to your vet to assess if your pet is fit for travel.
3. Advance Booking is a Must
Book your hotel in advance and confirm with them that they are pet-friendly.
This also applies to trains, airlines and other transportations as there are often spatial and support constraints, among many others. Book as much in advance as possible and call to ensure that your pet is welcomed, too.
4. Bring Your Pet’s Medical Records
You should carry any health records of your pet such as proof of vaccinations from your vet.
The regulations for different airlines and countries may vary, so check their pet policies pet in advance to make sure your pets are properly vaccinated and are free of contagious illnesses.
If their medical documents are not readily available, book an appointment with the vet as early as possible. You could also scan the records and send yourself a copy to keep them in your inbox.
As precautionary measures, you’re also advised to treat your pet with tick and flea medication before the trip.
You might not consider your pet’s health record a sensitive document, but if it contains your home address and contact information (which most do), it’s best to be extra cautious.
Use encrypted cloud and email services, and when abroad, always use a VPN on the device with which you access personal files.
5. Use an Approved Pet Carrier
You will need to check the requirements of a pet carrier on your airline or railway website to be sure that your pet carrier is officially approved.
If it is, you should label your carrier with your pet’s name and your contact details. Mark very clearly ‘Live Animal’ on the carrier, so everyone is aware. Don’t let it be mistaken for a regular suitcase.
6. Familiarize your pet with its Carrier
When you have your carrier, you should familiarize your pet with it before the travels. If your carrier can be dismantled into separate parts, leave the top part out and fill the bottom with your pet’s bedding in and some treats.
Later, install the put the top section with the door open to continue fostering trust. If all goes well, your pet might even prefer the carrier over their usual bed.
7. Prepare the Right Gear
It’s worth investing in a safety harness, a leash, collapsible water bowls, and waste bags to take with you on the trip.
You should also bring your pet’s bedding, favorite toy or even one of your t-shirts to put into the carrier, so it always smells and feels like home.
These steps are necessary even your pet has traveled before, as the first days of a trip are always unnerving even to the most well-traveled fur friend.
Traveling with your pet can be fun and relaxing for those who are well prepared and a nightmare for those who aren’t. It’s always best to prepare for any problems beforehand.
Always make sure that you and your pet are both fit for travel and don’t become sick on the way. Hopefully, the tips here will help you a lot with your preparation.
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