Traveling with Your Pet

Traveling with pets, without appropriate planning and preparation may be a nightmare for the two of you. Depending upon your destination, the preparations are similar: have your pet examined to make sure it is healthy enough for travel, obtain the appropriate paperwork, pack for your pet’s needs, train your pet for travel and if necessary, have your pet groomed.

1) Have your pet examined by your vet; verify it’s healthy enough for travel, that their vaccinations are up to date and obtain a Health Certificate and a Rabies certificate. Vaccinations differ from country to country so let your vet know if you’re traveling out of the country. You should also find out more about the destination country as to other requirements for traveling with pets there.

2) Paperwork required for traveling with pets is usually the same if traveling by air, rail, boat or street: health & rabies certificate, vaccination history and occasionally; evidence of ownership.

3) Pack some of your pets’ favorite toys, bowls, blankets, food, leash and water. Ensure that your pet has a collar (check it for wear and fit) with ID and rabies tags on it. Don’t wait until you’re ready to get in the car to teach your cat to wear a collar.

4) Pack cleaned out milk jugs of water so a change in water does not ad-versely affect them. Don’t feed your pet a full meal just before leaving; a small meal a few hours before the trip is better for them.

5) Start training your pet to travel about a month before your trip. Obtain a traveling cage or crate; let them smell it, go in and out of it on their own for some time, then begin shutting them in it for longer and longer amounts of time. A word of advice just let them out when they’re calm and ac-cepting of the cage. Should you let them out while they’re agitated, you’re only teaching them to misbehave in it. You cannot expect your pet that has never left the comfort of its house to understand that the noisy, smelly box (car) you just stuck them is safe.

6) When traveling with pets, call ahead to make sure your destination permits pets, an increasing number of hotels/motels are accommodating pets. Research where you’ll stop every two or three hours to rest, exercise and water your pet.

7) Traveling with your pet requires some excess forethought, planning and packaging, but the reward is a safe, healthy and enjoyable trip for both you and your pet. Have a terrific time!

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