How to travel safely with pets

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In most cases, our fur babies are part of the family. When traveling, our pets can come, for the most part, if steps are taken to ensure their safety and comfort. You can’t just load the animal in the back of the car and take off. If you are not traveling in your vehicle, specific measures should be taken before leaving. Always check the regulations of the areas you plan to visit, as they may have different rules and laws. Be prepared for anything when it comes to your pet.

  1. Veterinary-Take your pet to the vet and make sure all of their vaccines are up to date. Have them check your pet to make sure it is healthy and able to go on a trip. Sedatives aren’t recommended in most cases, so discuss ways to keep your furry friend calm and happy. Remember, within 10 days of travel, you need a statement from your licensed veterinarian that your pet is healthy and safe for travel. Even if you are traveling to your country, get this statement to make sure that if someone is checking your papers, you also have one for your traveling companion.
  2. Identification-The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says you should never travel anywhere unless your pet is microchipped and the collar has up-to-date tags. The name of the animal, your name and your cell phone number must be printed on the name tag. You should also make sure that labels are present indicating that vaccinations and rabies vaccines are up to date. You can even consider a temporary label showing your destination information. This will allow your pet to be returned if it gets lost for any reason.
  3. Assurance-It is always a good idea to purchase pet insurance when traveling. If you are not familiar with this type of insurance, it is like your health insurance policy but designed for your fur baby. There are several levels of protection you can get for them. Basically, the policy is designed to reimburse you for eligible payments that you may have to pay out of pocket if your pet becomes ill or injured while traveling.
  4. Checkout-Regardless of how you travel (car, plane, bus, plane, etc.), an approved crate or carrier must be used. Your pet should be able to stand, sit, lie down and turn around when inside. Keep the door closed, but not locked, and display your information clearly on it. If you are not traveling in your vehicle, also display a photo of your pet and write a sign that says “Live Animal” so that anyone handling the crate understands that they need to be extra careful.
  5. Travel Kit-Your pet will need to be able to stay calm while traveling. Make sure they have plenty of food with them (never feed them in a moving vehicle), bottled water, toys, and maybe a blanket with the smell of the house on it. If you are traveling by car, make plenty of rest areas. If you are traveling otherwise, stick a small amount of dog food inside the crate so that those in charge of loading and unloading can feed them if necessary. As for the water, prepare a bowl filled with frozen liquid. By the time your pet is loaded and seated, the ice will have melted into water.

Traveling with your pet can be easy and enjoyable if you prepare in advance. You plan for all your needs and cover all your concerns, before you go. Your furry baby is no different. Be prepared for the trip and it will run smoothly and safely for you and your pet.

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