Pet Travel Tips

Pets enjoy vacations as much as their parents do and pets are, after all, family members.  Taking your pet on your vacation trips requires just about as much preparation as your own preparation.  There are things you must do to prepare for your pets travel and things the pet must have if traveling by commercial carrier. If travelling by car, many of the same preparations exist with perhaps a bit more relaxed policy. 

Travelling by Air: (Your pet must be fully weaned and at least eight weeks old)

Call ahead to the airline you are travelling by to make reservations for your pet, either for accompanied travel which is same airline you are travelling or air cargo, a different plane from yours. This way you can find out the airline policies for the pets travel and what you will need for the pet. If the pet is going by cargo, you will want to book a flight that is nonstop.  This makes it easier on your pet and you.  Keep in mind that some airlines will not ship pets May through September due to the hot weather.  The same can happen in winter with the colder temperatures. Filghts + Hotels Finder

Visit your veterinarian to get an updated shot record and required certificates for your pet. Notify your vet that you will be travelling with your pet and inquire as to his/her health and if can travel that distance by air. Tell vet location you are going to and time in travel.  Be certain to get required medications for your pet and to have pet treated for fleas and ticks. You might want to also have your vet microchip your pet.  Be certain to have the microchip that meets the ISO standards 11784/11785 for international travel otherwise you would have to take along your own tag reader. Having your dog micro chipped can protect against losing your pet in a foreign land and never finding it. Cut Your Vet Expenses in 25%! - Discover How

You should obtain a crate for your pet that allows the pet to turn, lie down and stand up. The crate should meet airlines standards. Call the airlines for their policies on crates for pets. Prior to your trip, you might get your pet used to the crate by opening it and putting your pets blanket or toy inside so the pet will go in and out and not feel locked in. By the time your trip comes, your pet will be so used to the crate it won’t be affected by it and the closing of the door. Dog Carriers & Travel Products

Check in time at the airline for your pet is usually around 4 hours before flight.  If you are not going to make it, call ahead and ask for advice.

You might want to check the location of pet hospitals and vets in the area you are going to so that you know where to take your pet if there is an emergency.  You can usually find this information by going to:

Travelling by Car:

Travelling by car isn’t as strict as commercial airlines but many of the same policies should be thought through. Your pet is another being and subject to the same accidents that you are.  Because of this, you will want to adhere to safety precautions for your pet as well as comfort.

Find a suitable crate for your pet and let him/her get used to the crate prior to your trip.  If not using a crate you might want to consider rubber floor mats and lined seat covers for your pet.

Make a visit to your vet to make certain that your pet is healthy enough for travel and to get updated health and shot records and certificates.  Because pets can get lost so easily, while at the vet, you may want to have your pet micro chipped if not already done. Make certain to get your pets medications and to have pet treated for fleas and ticks.

To get your pet used to travelling, you might want to take your pet on some short trips.  Some pets do not travel well and would do better staying at home at the kennel or vet.  You want to be sure your pet can take the travelling.

Carry food and bottled water or 2 or 3 gallons of tap water from your home for the pet.  Sometimes water from another place can make your pet sick due to the differences.  The same goes for pet food, take enough to feed your pet over the vacation or be sure where you are going does carry your brand of pet food. Don’t assume because your pet can have some rough days changing food.

Just lightly feed your pet maybe 3 or 4 hours prior to leaving on your trip.

Consider having your dog groomed before trip to have nails clipped and pet bathed if you will be staying at hotels along the way.  You might want to call ahead on your hotel reservations to be sure they take your pet so you will not be inconvenienced when it’s time to rest.

Take all the necessary supplies you will need for pet on the trip like leash, scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, food and water, dishes for food and water, blanket for pet, favorite couple of toys, chew bones and treats, sunglasses if pet sensitive to light collar and id tag with your name, address and cell phone number. Dogs coat if winter time.


Travelling with your pet can be fun and of course a challenge.  The more comfortable you make your pet, the easier the trip will go. Think of your pets preparations as you would your own, and all should go well.  Happy pet travels

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