A Checklist for Traveling with Pets

For most pet owners, traveling with pets is not always easy. There are so many things to consider: Is your pet fit to travel? How does your pet react to strangers? What will your pet eat while traveling? The list goes on and on, but here is a simple checklist to help you as you prepare to travel with your pet.

Before the Trip

Since you’re talking about bringing your pet on vacation with you, the first thing you should consider is if it’s better to travel by plane or by car.  You should make sure that your chosen mode of transportation can accommodate your pet, and has a good reputation for doing so. There are also incidents where mixed breeds are turned down by airlines, so you better ask about these details before you buy your ticket

For those who choose to travel by air, you might want to consider giving your pet a sedative. Of course, you have to consult your vet for this. Before the flight, it would be wise to take your pet for a walk to drain his energy. That way, your pet will less likely be tense or noisy during the trip. If you think your pet is prone to motion sickness, do not feed it an hour before you leave

It is also a must to do your research about your destination. Find out where the parks are, pet hotels, grooming centers, or veterinary clinics nearby. For example if you’re staying in Bannock County, you can visit the Pocatello Animal Hospital for pet emergencies. You may even need to do your research about local pet laws to avoid any unexpected hassles during your travel.

What to Bring for the Trip

Here is a list of things you should prepare beforehand:

  • Medicines for your pet (including sedatives from the vet)
  • Food and water storage containers
  • Canned food (with a pop-top/easy-open lid)
  • Grooming tools
  • Cleaning supplies (rags, wipes, paper towels, etc.)
  • Comfortable bedding and carrier
  • Collar and leash

Don’t forget to put your pet’s accessories in a clear plastic bag, and do not hand-carry liquids or gels for your pet.

Remember to choose a good pet carrier for your trip. It should have the following features:

  • High quality (will not collapse easily, can be used for other trips)
  • Waterproof bottom
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Easy to carry or store
  • Spacious

If Today Is the Day

Start your day early so that unexpected delays won’t stress you out. While at the airport, expect your pet to also get an x-ray or be screened by a metal detector. This is a normal security procedure. Since this may make your pet uneasy, have a few treats available on hand.

Safety has also become a concern for pet owners who like to travel with pets. Many pets have gotten injured, lost, or even harmed during transport. It is a must to bring documents to prove your ownership such as pet registration papers, or a recent photo. As a responsible pet owner, you should always understand the risk of travelling with your pet. It is like this for now, but someday our pets may be able to travel with us in first class.

About the Author

Iris is a retired veterinary assistant. She has five cats, two dogs, and a parrot who speaks fluent Cantonese. She spends her spare time writing for the Bannock Animal Medical Center.

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