Travelling with pets: Where to start
While kennelling pets isn’t a bad idea when you’re heading off on holiday, long-term travel plans can make the logistics of owning a pet far more complicated. However, it doesn’t need to be; with a little forward planning you can keep your pet with you throughout your journey, allowing them to enjoy new places and people as much as you, and providing solo travellers with some much-needed companionship on long trips!
You’ll need to get your pet prepared for the journey – alongside the jabs, paperwork and all-important pet insurance there are a few things you can do at home to make sure they’re comfortable during long journeys. Whether you’re taking a cross-country journey by car, of flying out to far-away destinations, these tips should give you a good starting point!
Travelling by car might seem like the easy option, but you still need to remain responsible for your pet’s safety. Here’s how to ensure your pet’s security during the drive:
– No hanging out the window. It’s adorable, but extremely dangerous for your pet!
– No sitting in the front seat. It’s a distraction, and if an airbag deploys they could end up getting hurt.
– Keep them secured. You can pick up a harness or a cage, depending on your dogs size, that will keep them from jumping around the car.
– Keep them comfortable. Luxury dog beds for cars will keep them safe, cosy, and high up enough for small dogs to see out the (closed) window – meaning no more car sickness!
– Get them ready. In the months leading up to your journey, practise getting them in and out of the car, taking them for drives, and giving them plenty of treats, so that they associate their new equipment with feeling happy and content.
While some airlines allow you to travel with small pets in the cabin, chances are you’ll be separated from your pet during the flight. Therefore, it’s important to make sure they’re relaxed and ready for what can otherwise be a stressful experience for animals.
– Make sure they have plenty of space. Pick up a crate that allows them room to sit, stand and lie down comfortably.
– Keep them comfortable. Line the crate with soft, absorbent padding; place favourite toys inside; and if you can attach a fan to the outside to increase airflow around the enclosure.
– Get them used to it. In the weeks leading up to the flight, use the crate much like a kennel – but don’t use it as a place to go as a punishment. Try feeding them or giving treats in the crate, to make them feel at home in it.
– Give them time to recover. If you can schedule a long layover between flights, do; it will give your pet a chance stretch and burn off any anxious energy.
– Know your dog! Some pets just won’t be happy with plane travel. Don’t ever ask them to do something they’re not prepared for – it’s your job to train them for this, so if it’s clear they’re not happy, find an alternative route or leave them at home until you can be sure they’re ready.