Many of us would like our furry family members to accompany us when we travel. Taking our pets with us can eliminate the stress and expense of boarding or pet sitting and give us the pleasure of having our animals with us while we are having fun. Some tips for travel planning can make your trip an enjoyable adventure for you and your pets.
A serious illness or injury away from home can be emotionally devastating, and the cost of treatment could be financially devastating as well. You can purchase pet insurance policies with different choices of co-pays, deductibles, and premiums that cover accidents and illnesses. Having insurance for your pet can give you peace of mind that if something does happen, the cost won’t be a financial burden for your family and your pet will be able to get the treatment it needs.
Visit the Vet
Nobody likes being sick on vacation, including your pet. Scheduling a visit with the vet before a trip can ensure your pet will be healthy for the duration of the journey. Your vet can also advise you about options for decreasing your pet’s stress level such as anti-anxiety medications and pheromones. Airlines will require you to have a health certificate from a veterinarian certifying that your pet is healthy to travel.
Microchip Your Pet
Having an implanted microchip with the owner’s contact information is vitally important in case your pet should get lost. Veterinarian’s offices and shelters can read the information off of the microchip and contact the owner to reunite them with their pet. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure that your contact information is up to date and includes your cell phone number so you can be reached away from home.
Plan for Costs
Flying with your pet in the airline cabin usually costs around $125 one-way. And you will need an airline-approved carrier which can cost $40-$250 depending on size. Your pet will count as your carry on, so you may need to check baggage for a fee. Large dogs have to fly as air cargo, which can be very expensive. A sturdy crate compliant with regulations could cost $50-$150. Car travel is cheaper than flying but does come with some necessary equipment. A seatbelt, car seat, or pet barrier adds to the travel costs. Many hotels and motels that accept pets will charge a pet fee, anything from $20-$100 per night.
Prepare Your Pet
Travel involves a lot of new experiences and you can get your pet ready for their journey with some preparation beforehand. If your pet will need to spend a long time in a carrier or kennel, begin getting them accustomed to the carrier before the trip. Put the carrier out and feed them or give them treats in the carrier so they associate pleasant things with it. If you are traveling by car and your pet isn’t used to long car rides, begin with some short trips to get them accustomed to car travel. If they will travel in a carrier, put them into the carrier and take them on a short ride around the neighborhood. When you return home, give them a special treat or playtime. Once they are comfortable with short rides, lengthen the time they spend in the car. Your pet will encounter strangers on vacation, so take them around people and reward them for good behavior around strangers.
A little advanced planning can make your travel go smoothly and ensure that all family members have a great vacation experience.