Traveling just about anywhere is stressful enough but when you have a beloved pet with you, it can be even more so. We all know that it’s important to stay heart-healthy and with stress not being good for us at all, we want to share some tips to hopefully help ease it at least a little in this situation.
1. Planning the Trip
When planning a trip with a pet, the most important step is to think about their wellbeing. Travel can be stressful for them too so ask yourself some basic questions about them:
- Are they easily stressed?
- Are they old or frail?
- Does being in a carrier or crate cause them anxiety?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, it may be better to leave them behind. However, for those that tend to get stressed or suffer from anxiety on trips, see the next tip for something you may want to try.
You should also refrain from booking any non-refundable accommodations or services until you are sure your pet is welcome. And don’t just consider the hotel, you need to be aware of any restrictions for pets for all airlines, ferries, and transportation companies that you plan to use.
You’ll also need to carry a copy of their vaccination records which usually a digital copy on your phone is good enough but it’s not a bad idea to keep a copy in your glove box as well just in case.
2. Keep Supplies on Hand
Having a cat or dog suddenly start vomiting in the crate or suddenly starts showing signs of distress can be stressful to say the least. No matter how good your pet’s travel habits have been in the past, making sure that you’re prepared “just in case” is a great best practice.
Here are a few you that may want to keep on hand:
- Natural Remedies for Anxiety – Your pet could actually hurt themselves if they get too stressed during your trip. Having natural products like HomeoPet Travel Anxiety drops or CBD oil for pets in your travel bag is a virtual must.
- Dramamine – Some dogs get motion sickness and your veterinarian may prescribe Dramamine, an antihistamine, to alleviate nausea and other effects of motion sickness.
- Light Diet & Treats – Products like Under the Weather for dogs can definitely come in handy.
3. Keep Them Comfortable
If you’re traveling by car, don’t just let your pet roam loose in the backseat. This is actually illegal in some states and of course, it’s dangerous in the event of quick stops or accidents. Instead, opt for a nylon dog seat-belt, a harness that connects to your car’s belts and situate them so that you can see them in your review mirror. It should go without saying but don’t pack the vehicle so much so that your pet has to squeeze between luggage. Give them enough room to lay down.
Whether in the car or a crate/carrier, lay down blankets or their favorite pillow or pet bed. Taking along familiar toys and food will help keep them comforted and entertained as well as maintain their normal digestive routine. Also be sure to pack portable food and water dishes, their favorite treats, waste bags, a collar and leash, any medications, and any comfort items they’re attached to such as a favorite blanket.
Feed them a small meal three to four hours before starting your trip and always take bottled water for them. tap water can be vastly different depending on where you travel to/through and different water can make your pet sick.
While it’s probably virtually impossible to thwart all stress associated with travel, utilizing the above steps can help ensure that your fur baby doesn’t add to it. Plan ahead, keep “just in case” supplies on hand, ensure that your pet is as comfortable as possible and that you’re prepared to address any anxiety issues and you’ll be several steps ahead of the game.