DOs When Traveling With Pets
Here's a wrap up of tips for traveling with pets.
DO research pet travel requirements for the country or countries you are visiting
A simple Google search will connect you with government sites that offer pet immigration information. Make sure you read through carefully. Some require vaccinations many months before travel; some require parasite testing 24 - 48 hours before your visit.
DO introduce the carrier you will be using well in advance of the travel day
Let your cat or dog get used to the shape and smell of the carrier. Put treats inside; encourage them to take a nap. The more comfortable they feel in the carrier, the less stressful travel will be for them and you! If you are traveling by car, take practice runs (especially with cats).
DO use a puppy-training pad in the carrier
They not only provide some padding, but they make it easy to clean up potty accidents. Bring a couple of extra pads with you.
DO bring snacks and water for flights
Chances are, your pet won't be interested, but just in case....
DO use products that help pets relax
These are not sedatives; they merely take the edge off. Some are in the form of treats and some can be applied onto bedding or right onto the pet.
• Calming Chews by Pet Naturals of Vermont
• Happy Traveler treats by Ark Natural
• Travel Calm by Earth Heart, Inc. You can spray on a dog's belly, but do not spray onto a cat. This can also be sprayed into the carrier, in a car, etc.
• Easy Traveler by Spirit Essences - this can be rubbed into paw pads, earflaps, or on the forehead. It can also be applied directly to the pet's bedding or interior of the carrier
DO pack a small first aid kit
Recommended items can be found here - http://holistichealthypets.net/2012/05/16/how-to-create-a-holistic-first-aid-kit-for-your-pet/
DO make sure your pet is wearing identification
Put your name and cell phone number on your pet's tag. Say "Call Joe @ 555-555-5555" instead of listing your pet's name.
DO understand TSA rules for pets
You will have to take your pet out of his/her carrier and walk through the scanner together OR you may opt to be inspected in a private room (recommended).
DO have a litter box in the car (for cats)
Place on the floor behind one of the seats. Give them access only when stopped.
DO keep all windows and the sunroof closed when traveling with pets
I don't think I have to explain this one.
DO use proper restraints in the car
A seat belt can be looped through handles on a carrier. There are also many doggy car seats available.
DO research pet friendly hotels, restaurants and attractions where you plan on traveling
You might be surprised how many people just show up at a hotel assuming they will accept pets.
DO make a list of retailers at your destination that carry the pet food and products you will need for your time there
Many high-end hotels will have a concierge take care of shopping or all that you will need before you arrive.
DO identify emergency veterinary services near your hotel
Call the concierge for recommendations before your arrival or at least do a Google Search to identify 24-hour veterinary facilities.
DO understand and obey pet rules at your hotel
If your pet cannot be left unattended, arrange for a pet sitter ahead of time (use a service like Dog Vacay or ask the hotel to make recommendations). Remember, a hotel can force you to leave if you do not follow protocol.
These DOs may seem like a lot of work, but truthfully, they become routine the more you travel with your cat or dog. Vacation should be fun and drama-free. The best way to ensure this is to plan ahead.
Jodi Ziskin, our Traveling with Pets Editor, is a Holistic Nutrition & Wellness Specialist for Cats and Dogs. She is a Certified Pet Nutrition Consultant who also holds a Master of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition. Her mission is to help cats and dogs live healthier and happier.
Through her company, Holistic Healthy Pets by Jodi Z, she educates pet parents in their home environment, via Skype/Facetime or by telephone on how to make the best holistic diet and lifestyle choice for their animal companions. Jodi and her husband Zach live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with their two cats, Obi and Emma. Please feel free to contact her at info[at]holistichealthypets.net or visit http://www.healthypetcoach.com/