How to Safely Travel with Your Pets

For avid travelers who happen to also be pet owners, a common problem faced is what to do with your furry family members while you are on the road. Many tend to seek kennels for their pets to stay in during their time away, but for others, bringing them along for the journey is crucial. If bringing your dog, cat, rabbit, or any pet with you for your traveling excursions is a must, take the following considerations into account to guarantee they are properly taken care of during such times.

Know Before You Go

The most obvious consideration beforehand is making sure your pet is allowed into the country you’ve chosen to travel to. Many countries require strict screenings for pets visiting from foreign countries, including vaccinations, behavioral tests, and sometimes microchips; a surgically implanted device to monitor your pet’s location at all times, which should be done well before planning to travel. The consulates of each country all have the information needed to ensure you meet their requirements, and more information can be found at the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Be Mindful When Flying

If your travel plans involve flying, your pet’s well being is crucial, ensuring his or her safety and comfort. After choosing an airline, check their pet policies beforehand. Some may allow smaller cats and dogs in the cabin of the plane, while others require that you have them stored below the cabin. If your pet must be below cabin, it is vital that you consider the temperatures during your time of travel. The summer and winter months will yield extremely hazardous temperatures to pets in an uncontrolled environment.

Some airlines have pet health requirements that should be considered as well. Visiting a veterinarian before your trip will not only give you a certificate to ensure your pet’s health upon arriving, but let you know whether or not your pet is healthy enough to travel in the first place. If you have sick, ill tempered, or physical impaired pet in any way, it may be wise to either leave them with a friend, or postpone the trip entirely.

Another thing worth noting is the fact that certain breeds of dogs should never be brought on planes. Pugs, Pekingese, Chows, and other short-snouted breeds already have limited breathing passages, and are therefore more prone to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke at higher altitudes.

Choose the Right Rental

Assuming most hotels do not allow pets, when searching for a home or apartment to rent, make sure the environment of such places is suitable for your pet’s size, habits, and overall personality. For example, if you have dogs that tend to be skittish around other people, it would be best to avoid staying in a city or heavily populated area. If they enjoy swimming or hiking, search for cabins near mountains or lakes to give them the times of their lives.

An important thing to keep in mind when choosing where to stay in your vacation destination is the area’s rules for pet waste. Picking up after your pet has done his or her business is not only considerate, but respectful of the country in which you are visiting. Always bring the necessary items in order to properly clean up after your pets.

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