Planning a trip after this long and exhausting pandemic is a great way to reconquer the world, and boost your own mental health. But traveling with a pet can make things a lot trickier. So this is why we’ve decided to write this – a list of the complete tips and tricks that you’ll need to make your air travel with your pets easier.
Obviously, there’s always the option of leaving your pet in a pet hotel, or with a friend, while you’re away, but that’s not an alternative for everyone. If you’re one of those people who wouldn’t even dream of leaving your pet, read on.
Tip #1: Get familiar with your airline’s pet policy.
We recommend doing this before you even book your flight, as you risk having an unpleasant surprise at the airport, on departure day. So before you do anything else, do some research on your airline’s pet policies, to ensure that flying with your pets is a-okay with them.
Some airlines have rigid pet policies that might not appeal to pet owners, while others might not allow pets on board at all. It’s important to be prepared so that you can pick an airline suited for you and your pet.
Some airlines only allow a limited number of pets per flight, so get your flight tickets as early as possible, to ensure your furry friend gets a spot!
Tip #2: Make sure you pick pet-friendly accommodation.
Not all hotels or landlords allow pets on their property, so make sure you book a place that’s pet-friendly, lest you get another unpleasant surprise. Depending on the booking conditions of your accommodation, you might not even be eligible for a refund, should you arrive at the destination, only to learn they don’t allow pets, so do your research beforehand.
We recommend reaching out to the accommodation of your choice and asking them, just to make sure, if it would be alright to bring your pet. Also, make sure you specify the type of pet you’re bringing since properties might have different rules for different pets.
Tip #3: Research the place you’re going.
Okay, so now that you’ve got both your flight and accommodation booked, it’s time to look ahead and plan your holiday. Traveling with your pet requires that you be prepared in case of an emergency. For instance, you’ll want to know where the nearest vet to your accommodation is, should there be a problem.
Also ask around for pet-friendly restaurants, nearby dog parks (if you’re traveling with your beloved canine), and of course, check whether the tourist attractions you want to visit allow pets on the premises.
Tip #4: Visit your vet.
Most international travel will require a special veterinary certificate, testifying that your pet is safe from any dangerous diseases. Failing to provide this on arrival might mean having to quarantine your pet – and we all know how un-fun that is now!
At Buena Vet, they specialize in these types of veterinary certificates, and offer full assessments of your pet before travel, to make your job (and your holiday) easier.
Tip #5: Invest in a high-quality carrier or crate.
Of course, when traveling by air, investing in a high-quality pet carrier or crate is an absolute must, since most airlines specifically insist on them. This will keep your dog safe during transport, and since that can mean up to quite a few hours, you probably want a good one.
Also, you’ll want to pick a pet carrier that has designated food and water slots, especially for those flights that spread out across several hours. Ensuring that your pet is fed and hydrated during travel is essential.
Tip #6: Get your pet familiar with their carrier beforehand.
Since your pet will be confined to their carrier during the flight for quite a few hours, it’s important that they are familiar and comfortable with the space. Depending on your pet, this might mean practicing at home, before your actual journey.
Use toys, blankets, and other items that might make your pet like the space more, which would also make it comfier. Slowly familiarize your pet with the carrier or crate, to ensure you don’t encounter difficulty on the day of your actual flight.
Tip #7: Stick to your routine.
Most animals are creatures of habit, and chances are, they’ll get nervous if you significantly alter their usual daily routine. So if a morning walk is customary for you most days, we recommend sticking to that on the day of travel, also. Feeding, playing, and other common practices should also be respected, as much as possible, to keep your dog at ease, and make transportation easier.
Tip #8: Ask your vet’s advice for calming your pet.
If you’re worried about your pet getting restless during the flight, you can ask your vet for recommendations. Generally, tranquilizers tend to be an extreme measure, and shouldn’t be used unless your pet is highly restless and flight is impossible otherwise.
Instead, your pet might advise you on using a natural pet calmer, to soothe your furry friend’s nerves for the flight.
Tip #9: Be mindful.
During your travels, try to keep in mind that not everyone is comfortable around pets (especially dogs, who are usually perceived as the most threatening). So when traveling in heavily populated areas, like tourist hot spots, or restaurants, do restrain your dog, to ensure that your fellow travelers also have a pleasant experience.
Tip #10: Identification.
Last but not least, ensure against all possibilities. No one wants to think about the possibility of their pet getting lost, but it does exist. If your pet gets separated from you, there’s the risk of never being reunited, so take pet identification seriously.
Include a tag with your name, cell phone number, and possibly even the address of your accommodation, if you’re going to be gone more than a few days. This can really make a difference.
With all that in mind, we wish you a pleasant journey!