5 Tips On How To Travel With Your Dog & Cat In 2022
Travel, whether it be for leisure or work, is a billion-dollar industry. With fears of the pandemic decreasing, more and more people are traveling. Travel and tourism are expected to contribute $2 trillion to the US economy in 2022.
Traveling in itself is extremely stressful. You need to pack carefully, get tickets, plan out your trip, get bookings and board and bear the journey. It is even more nerve-wracking for parents and pet owners.
Many pet owners turn to board services where they can leave their pets so they can be taken care of. 68% of all US households’ own pets, that is 85 million families. This means that every year billions are spent on travel-related expenses for cats and dogs.
As exciting as it is to have your pet with you on a trip, it can prove to be a challenge. Cats and dogs are not used to being in enclosed spaces for long periods. Especially dogs as they are so full of energy.
Additionally, you need to think about your pet relieving themselves while traveling. Many cats and dogs may get stressed as they are out of their comfort zone.
Here are five tips you need to know when traveling with your cats or dogs, focusing on air travel:
Much like how you would do for yourself, do some research. See what rules and regulations you must follow. If you are traveling across the international border, be sure to check which permits you to need to bring your cats or dogs.
Countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and Mauritius have very strict rules when it comes to transporting animals, particularly dogs. These are rabies-free countries and require testing and even quarantine before pet’s travel from high-rabies countries, like the US.
In addition to getting a passport and other necessary documents, you must also determine how your pet will travel. Cats and most small dogs, like pug puppies, can travel in a cabin. You can place them inside a pet carrier and put them where you will otherwise place your feet. It will take a lot of leg space but you will have your pet nearby.
Dogs need to be crate trained to fly with you and are checked in as luggage. Larger dogs can be transported as cargo. You cannot buy a seat for your cat or dog on the plane.
Before making any kind of plans, discuss the matter with your vet. Your vet has full knowledge of your cat or dog’s health. They are also familiar with the personality of your pet. This means they can judge whether your pet can travel or not. Some breeds of dogs are not usually recommended for traveling by air due to breathing difficulties.
A physical exam is needed before traveling. The vet will also provide any vaccines your pet may need for traveling abroad. They can even provide recommendations on how to train your pet to feel at ease during traveling.
Pets crave a routine and a familiar setting. Having to travel takes them out of their comfort zone, making it a difficult experience to deal with. Prioritizing their physical and mental comfort is very important.
Start training your pet for the trip two or three weeks ahead of time. Crate train your dog and train your cat to stay in the pet carrier for an extended period. They need to learn to remain in one place for at least a few hours.
Keep the time short at the beginning and slowly increase it. This way your pet will ease into the routine. Another area in which you need to train your pet in is being around people. This does not mean being around a stranger or two, but large crowds. If your pet is not used to large crowds, train them to do so. Take them to a park or any crowded area.
Airports can get busy and your pet may get anxious around so many people. The best you can do is expose them to crowds so they can be around people without getting stressed out.
Pack your pet’s favorite toys, treats, blankets, and pillows. Anything they find comforting and reminds them of home. Make sure the pet carrier has their favorite blanket inside. This is important not just for comfort but also for familiarity.
If your cat or dog is behaving well, sitting quietly, let them know they are doing good. Appreciate them and pet them. Physical contact with you is calming for your furry friend. You can give them a treat, but only after four or six hours into the journey.
Your pet will naturally require to relieve themselves from time to time. Aside from getting them potty trained, it is important to use the relief area. Even if your cat or dog is not showing signs of relieving themselves take them before your board and right after you get off.
All airports in the US with a capacity of over 10,000 passengers are legally required to have a relief area that is accessible by wheelchair. In many larger airports, these look like dog parks. It is a huge convenience that may save you from getting embarrassed in front of hundreds of strangers.
There is no way to sugar-coat it but traveling can be hell, especially if you are doing so with pets. Cats and dogs are not used to being in confined spaces for long periods. Crowds can make animals anxious and stressed. This is why you need to prepare in advance for the trip.
Make sure you have fulfilled all legal requirements to travel with your pet and taken all the necessary steps. It is good to do your research. Preparation also means training your pet for the trials of traveling. It is, however, better to avoid traveling with your pet if you can avoid it.