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A Guide to Traveling with your Furry Friend

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Summer is here which means it is vacation time! Your trips are planned, bags are packed, and there’s one thing that could make your vacation even better--bringing your fur baby a long for the fun! However, it is important to note that if you aren’t able to provide your furry friend with a lot of quality time on your trip, they might be happier going to a pet sitter instead. If you have decided that it’s best to bring your pet a long for the trip, there are some important tips and safety guidelines that you should prepare for to ensure they have a safe, but enjoyable time.

Driving is usually a better option when deciding on taking your pet with you on a trip; however, in some cases you aren’t able to drive and flying better suits your situation. We will cover both travel arrangements and leave you with some valuable tips to remember on your next trip with your pet.

Prep Your Pet for a Long Trip
Before taking your pet with you on a road trip, preparation is one of the most important things to do. Take your pet on a series of short drives prior to the trip, then gradually lengthen the trip in the car. This will help your pet get accommodated to the car environment and allow for an easy going, stress free trip.

Keep Pets Safe and Secure in the Carrier or Crate
When loading your pet’s crate, remember that the crate should be large enough for the pet to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around. The crate should be secured in place so it won’t slide or shift in case of an abrupt stop. If you choose not to have a crate, you might consider a pet seat belt to make sure your fur friend is locked in safe while riding.

Make a Pet-Friendly Travel Kit
Just like humans sometimes carry a travel kit with snacks and necessities when traveling, your pet needs the same. You should pack food, pet bowls, a leash, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication, a first-aid kit and travel documents like vaccination records. Also be sure to pack extra food and plenty of water in case the trip runs longer than expected. It’s also a good idea to pack their favorite toy or bedding to give a sense of familiarity and help with any anxiety that might occur while traveling in the car.

Never Leave Your Animal Alone in a Parked Car
It is so important to remember to never leave your animal alone in a parked car. Even with the windows down, on a hot day it can cause your animal to have a heatstroke. In the cold, your car acts as a refrigerator and can cause your animal to freeze to death. So as a simple rule to remember, wherever you are, your furry friend should be right there with you. 

“What if I have to go to the bathroom and I’m traveling alone?” No worries! By taking the necessary precautions like parking in the shade, placing a sunscreen across the windshield to block sunlight, or even using a portable travel fan to increase circulation in the car, it can help keep your pet safe for the few minutes you’ll be in the bathroom.

In the instance you aren’t able to drive, and you need to fly, here are some tips to remember and take with you on your trip.

Cabin Not Cargo (if you can)
If possible, have pets fly with you in the cabin and not in cargo. Cargo can be problematic from some pets. There are some requirements to note regarding if your pet can fly in the cabin with you. If your pet is a service animal or can fit in a carrier under the seat in front of you with enough room, then they can fly in the cabin with you. If your animal doesn’t fall within these requirements, then they must fly cargo.

Make an Appointment with Your Veterinarian Before the Flight
Before you travel, make sure vaccinations are up to date and you get a health certificate from the veterinarian within ten days of your departure. You may also want to ask your veterinarian on ways to relax your pet and limit anxiety and discomfort on the flight.

Prepare Your Pet’s Carrier
On your carrier, make sure there is a “live animal” sticker on every side of the carrier and attach a note with your name, flight number, contact information and pet information. Depending on how long the trip is, you might also want to put a training pad inside the carrier as well in case they have an accident.

No matter if you’re traveling with your pet in a car or flying to get to your next destination, there are safety precautions and guidelines that you should take into consideration to make sure your pet is always safe. Following these tips will allow for a safe and adventurous journey with your furry friend!

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