Tips for Traveling Safely with Your Pet

Written by | Updated February 22, 2017

Is your dog or cat your favorite copilot? Then you’ll need to learn how to keep them safe while traveling. Whether you’re moving across the country, getting on a plane, or hitting the road for an adventure, use these tips to ensure your furry friends enjoy the journey.

Establish a Calm Environment

Wherever you’re going, give your pet a familiar, calm, and relaxing atmosphere. Pets remain calmest when following their regular schedules, so try to accommodate your animal’s sleeping, eating, and exercise regimen to maintain familiarity while traveling.

Stuff your pet’s crate or section of the car with their usual bedding and favorite toys. Keep music quiet to make it easier on your pet’s sensitive ears. If possible, make sure your animals can see you so they know you’re not far away. If you have a particularly sensitive kitty, purchase cat pheromones—they are scentless to humans—which decrease stress and keep your cat calm.

Buckle Up Your Pet

Many pet owners allow their pets to ride unrestrained in vehicles. This doesn’t pose a threat to only people, but also to pets. Unrestrained pets may become seriously injured—or worse—during an accident, so use a crash-test approved pet harness to keep them secure. You may miss them on your lap, so consider stopping more frequently for potty and cuddle breaks while you’re on the road!

Check Airline Rules

Cars, boats, and trains are much easier transit methods than planes. However, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid a flight. Before you take off, read up on each airline’s animal protocol to find the best and safest option. We recommend choosing an airline with temperature-controlled pet cabins because putting pets in cargo can lead to tragic injuries and death. Plus, it’s extremely stressful for your pet to travel below the plane. If possible, book a direct flight and keep your animal by your side. One way to do this is by getting your pet certified as a therapy or service animal—that way, they can always travel by your side in the main cabin.

Plan Pet-Friendly Pit Stops

Spontaneity has no place when you’re traveling with a pet. To ensure your pet has a successful, happy, and healthy trip, thoroughly research your route beforehand. Plan potty breaks at dog parks to allow your puppy time to stretch their legs, identify pet-friendly hotels to give you and your furry friends a safe place to stay, and arrange to eat at pet-friendly restaurants so your animals never sit in the car alone. If you have a cat, plan to let them out of the carrier every couple hours for a chance to use the litter box.

Pit stops prove a bit trickier when traveling by plane, so look up designated pet break stations before you travel and bring pee pads with you. When you factor your pet into every aspect of your trip, they’ll be more at ease.

Pack Water, Food, and Treats

Pets need at least one ounce of water for every pound they weigh to stay hydrated daily. Carry enough water with you to keep your pet’s thirst quenched, and offer them a drink every one to two hours. Pack your pet’s recommended daily food amount and some treats, too, to reward them for being great travel buddies.

Double Check Collars and Tags

Make sure your pet’s collar has their name and vaccination tags—or better yet, have your pet microchipped. If your pet gets lost, tags and microchips help reunite you. Vaccination tags will also keep you from being ticketed if you travel through states with strict pet laws.

Make Sure Your Pet Is Well

If you feel under the weather, you probably won’t want to travel, and the same goes for your pet. Make sure your pet is healthy before your trip by going to the veterinarian or doing a quick check yourself. Also, familiarize yourself with a reputable vet and emergency clinic at your destination in case your beloved pooch or kitty falls ill.

It doesn’t get much better than traveling with your best friend, but follow these rules to make sure you and your pet are comfortable, safe, healthy, and happy wherever you go. Want to do more to spoil your pet? Check out our favorite pet cams so you can interact with your animal all day long.

Written by Caroline Maurer

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