Summer is almost officially here! Days are longer, the air is warmer, and the travel itch has begun. For many pet parents, a vacation is no fun unless their four-legged family members can come along. While traveling can be stressful for all, nothing can ruin an adventure across the country more than being unprepared. If you're planning to take a trip with pets in tow, we have a few tips to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for everyone.
Traveling by plane?
Unless your furry friend is small enough to ride under your seat, it's best to avoid air travel with your pets. If you must bring your pet along on the flight, here are a few suggestions to keep your pet safe while flying the friendly skies.
- Book a direct flight whenever possible. This will decrease chances of your pet being mishandled by rushed baggage personnel during a layover.
- Make a vet appointment. Prior to your trip, make sure your pet's vaccinations are up-to-date and obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within 10 days of your departure.
- Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably, and lined with some type of bedding to absorb accidents.
- Make sure your pet's crate has proper identification. Mark the crate with the words "Live Animal," as well as with your name, cell phone and destination phone number, and a photo of your pet.
- Tell airline employees that you are traveling with a pet in the cargo hold. This way, they'll be ready if any additional considerations or attention is needed.
Traveling by car?
Traveling with a pet by car involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off, especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. Here are a few car travel safety tips to help you prepare for a smooth and safe trip.
- Prep your pet for a long trip. Get your pet geared up by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.
- Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Secure your pet's crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of abrupt stop.
- Prep a pet-friendly travel kit. Bring food, a bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid, and any travel documents. Pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
Did you know that July is the most popular travel month of the year? Stop into the store for solutions to make traveling with your furry family members easier!