How to Travel with a Pet

by Updated January 29, 2009

Travelling with a pet can be traumatic for both the owner and the animal, unless you are well informed with regards to the dos and don’ts of travelling abroad with your pet. By doing some research beforehand and ensuring that you find out all the information you need to make yours and your pet’s travel experience a pleasant one.

If you are planning to travel with your pet, it is vital that you look into what is required and what the policies are on taking your pet to your chosen destination. The policies relating to travelling with your pet can vary based upon where you are travelling and the size of your pet. However, there are some general guidelines to bear in mind when planning to travel with your pet, and these include:

Kennels/carriers: Remember, your pet is most likely going to be frightened enough without having to be cooped up in a tiny space throughout the journey, so make sure that you invest in a comfortable, good-sized carrier or cage for the animal to travel and relax in. Also, spend some time beforehand getting your pet used to the carrier so that he or she will feel more at home when travelling in it, and put some of your pet’s favourite toys and blankets in.

Booking in advance: Don't just turn up with your pet – make sure that you contact the travel company or airline in advance and make the proper arrangements so that your pet can be properly checked in and ready to travel on the day of travel.

Identification: You should make sure that you pet and the carrier or cage in which he or she will be travelling have identification on, including the pet's name, your name and address, and your contact telephone number.

Exercise: Give your pet a chance to exercise before you travel, because he or she may be cooped in a carrier for quite some time. Also, do not let your pet loose once you are in the airport – exercise should be given prior to your arrival at the airport.

Sedation: Some people think that sedating the pet will keep them calm during travel, but this is something that you should never do if your pet is flying. The combination of high altitude and the sedative can prove very dangerous. However, when travelling by car this may be a viable option to use to settle your pet down and keep him or her calm.

Also, don’t forget that if you are flying with your pet, you must check details such as the airline’s travel policies and procedures, quarantine information, and immunization requirements. Make sure that your pet receives the necessary shots well in advance so that he or she is fully covered. And, if you are staying in a hotel whilst you are away, don't forget to check that it is a pet friendly hotel.

 


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