Traveling with pets can be stressful for you and your furry little friends. Some pets love to travel, and some hate it.
Here are pet travel tips to help put you both at ease.
What’s the Best Form of Transportation when Traveling with Pets?
If you have traveled with your pet before, you may know how he handles trips. Does your pet generally look forward to going someplace new, or is he scared and apprehensive of out-of-the-ordinary situations? Perhaps your pet loves car journeys, but had a bad experience in an airplane that terrified him. If at all possible, choose a form that will not upset your little companion.
Where Exactly Will Your Pet Travel?
If you are not traveling in your own vehicle, but by train or airplane, get specific information. Your pet may be traveling on the same flight as you, but where will he actually be? Will your pet be put with all the luggage, or does the airline have a proper, comfortable place that they use regularly for pets?
Be aware of things such as train baggage cars that may be heated but not air-conditioned, as this will affect the time of year you are able to travel with your pet on this type of transportation.
How Will the Pet Be Handled before and after the Trip?
Ask how your pet will be handled before and after the flight. Have the staff been properly trained in all related procedures? Is the safety and comfort of your pet top priority for the company you are traveling with?
What Measures Exist to Ensure Your Pet’s Safety?
Although there may be procedures and rules in place in regards to animal safety when accompanying a passenger, unfortunately these are not always followed. If the particular company truly cares for the safety and wellbeing of every pet in their care, they will take measures to ensure that procedures are followed. Are there security cameras in all areas your pet will enter, in order to prove that animals are being treated kindly and not abused? Are the staff observed when loading pets onto the airplane or train in order to confirm that your loved pet is not being thrown around like a suitcase?
Good Reviews and Recommendations, or Bad?
Look for online reviews on each potential method of transportation, and each different company. Are they mostly positive or negative? Be aware that some online travel sites may be edited by companies, but you can often find out whether the one you are traveling with is known for protecting animals in their care or not. Educate yourself so that you can assess all your petís travel-related risks.
How Can You Comfort Your Pet as Much as Possible during Travel?
There are ways you can help comfort your pet while traveling. Send his favorite toy or stuffed animal to give him some familiarity. Wear a t-shirt the night before traveling and then put it into his travel carrier in order to help comfort him for the stretch of time that you are not around. Make sure he is well fed and has plenty of water.
As you can see, there are many considerations when traveling with pets. Research, weigh your pros and cons, and make the best travel decisions possible for your beloved family member.
For more tips on traveling with pets, check out this article from the ASPCA.