Around 84.6 million Americans own a pet, meaning pets are everywhere and the need to travel with pets is very common. The number one pet of choice are dogs, around 35 percent of households have them while second place is cats, at about 30 percent.
Many people consider their pets as family members. Most pet owners prefer to travel with their pets instead of leaving them at a pet boarder. Even though pets feel like family, in the travel world, they are very different. Your pet will have different requirements and will have different arrangments. If you think you can go to an airport with your dog by your side and hop on a plane, think again. You will need to plan extra.
Have all Necessary Animal Documents
Proper documentation is one of the most important things a responsible owner needs to address. Not only is this for you and your dog’s safety, but for everyone along your way in general. Make sure to thoroughly research the necessary documents that you need to have like vaccinations and vet approval. Your dog will need to be current on all vaccinations. Your dog will also have to be examined by a vet to be sure that it is healthy enough to travel. Your vet will have to approve your pet’s travel.
If you are flying or taking a bus you may have to pay additional pet fees.
Pets are innately friendly and affectionate to their owners, but their behavior can immediately change towards strangers. For dogs, brush up their manners and teach them the basic obey commands. Knowing how your dog reacts in a new environment is very important and will help prepare for traveling. To test this, take your pet to a different local dog park. Experiment to see how they act and ways to help them relax, like giving them a treat.
If you are going to be in a busy airport, it may be best to muzzle your dog even if it is friendly to ensure there aren’t any accidental bites. According to the CDC, 800,000 dog bites per year require medical treatment. You don’t want to be liable if your dog bites someone else.
Travelling isn’t typically an everyday event like it is for you. Riding in the car isn’t usually the daily norm for your dog either. Moving from one place to another can be a big adjustment for them. Our pets can get easily stressed when put into an unfamiliar scenario. You need to ensure that your dog is properly adjusted to this kind of lifestyle. A well-adjusted pet means they are trained on how to properly behave while traveling.
If you are planning to go on a road trip, consider taking them on short car rides often, so they get used to how to get in and out of a vehicle and also where they should sit while the car is in motion. You don’t want a big dog climbing around the vehicle.
Pet food and treats are easy to carry so make sure you have them along with your items when traveling. Bringing along your pet’s essential will keep them comfortable on the journey.
Other items to include are:
- A familiar blanket that your dog likes
- Pop up water dish
- A bottle of water
- Chew toys
- Wipes because
Every state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to animal transportation or traveling. Make sure you are properly aware of these rules on the respective states or country you are going to visit. There are some places where strict rules on dogs being on a leash are implemented.
Singapore for example strictly requires owners to leash their dogs whenever they are going to be walked in public spaces and for certain breeds need to be muzzled. Failing to follow these rules will in a fine that is up to $7,000.