If you’re bound and determined to take your furry friend with you when you take your summer vacation, then there are a few things you should consider before you stuff them in a cage and head off to your destination. For starters, have you ever taken them on a trip before? If you don’t know how they’ll react to a long car ride or air travel, then you could be facing a world of potential problems with no recourse. And what about travel restrictions? Do you know if you can even take you pet on the plane or will you have to check your pooch with your luggage? There are all kinds of things you’ll need to look into and plan ahead for when you opt to take an excursion with your pet. But here are the top five that you absolutely must address.
- Do a test run. The first order of business (before you hop on a 12-hour flight) is to see how your pet handles travel. If you’re going on an extended road trip, hop in the car for an hour-long drive beforehand to see how your dog or cat deals with the situation. Or if you’re taking your pet on a plane, start with short flight to a nearby locale to test the waters. You don’t want to deal with an agitated or ill animal when you’re on vacation, so knowing how they’ll react could make a big difference in the planning process.
- Talk to your vet. Many pets need to be at least somewhat sedated when they travel. In some ways, it’s just kinder, especially since most animals get upset when confined to a cage (and put in an unfamiliar environment). So talk to your veterinarian to determine the best way to handle your pet when you travel. And be sure to ask about different options for sedatives since some can have detrimental side effects.
- Call the airline and hotels. Calling ahead to ensure that your pet is welcome and to learn the guidelines for their travel is extremely important. You need to know how and where your pet will fit in before you get to the airport or hotel. After all, you don’t want to get separated from your pet at the airport without preparation (if they’re not with you, they usually require sedation) and finding a new hotel upon arrival because you forgot to mention your pet won’t be much fun either.
- Seek information on your destination. Before you arrive at your travel destination, you should do some research to find the name, location, and contact information for a vet, an emergency clinic, and a pet supply store in the area you’ll be visiting. You may be extremely happy to have it before the end of your trip.
- Consider the needs of your animal. Before you jet off on your travel adventure, take a moment to think about the needs of your pet; not just food, water, and toys to take along, but whether or not they should be going at all. If you’re taking your pet along out of some selfish desire to travel with company, rather than considering if they might not be better off with a sitter or staying at a kennel, then you might want to rethink your strategy and do what’s best for your best friend.
Emma Martin writes for Thailand Hotels where you can plan your next exciting vacation.