4 Tips for Traveling With Pets
Traveling with your pets can be daunting, especially when it comes to flying, but by following these four tips for flying with pets, you can streamline the process and make it easier and more enjoyable for you and your pet.
- Contact Your Airline
Whether you’re flying with a cat, dog, rabbit or bird, you will want to contact your airline directly before booking your flight to make sure your pet is welcome aboard the flight. This is a great time to check in with your airline to see if they have any special requirements when it comes to flying with your pet.
Some commercial airlines do require pets to be of a certain size and age, as well as being up to date with their shots and vaccines. Getting a certificate of health from your vet before your trip is a great way to verify this information for the airline should it ask for proof.
Fees may apply for traveling with your pet, so if that’s a concern of yours it’s best to ask now rather than be surprised at check-in. Don’t be afraid to ask your airline if it has additional tips for traveling with pets it can share with you to make your journey easier on everyone.
- Pack a Necessities Bag
If you were traveling with a human baby, you would certainly pack a diaper bag full of their necessities, including diapers, food, snacks and toys. Remember that traveling with your fur baby shouldn’t be much different. Packing their necessities will make the travel transition much smoother for you and your pet.
Make sure to bring along toys, treats, water and any comfort items that may make them less anxious during the trip. Don’t forget to pack their favorite food, just in case you can’t find it when you land (or you get stuck in an airport during a layover).
- Ration Food and Water
Whether your pet is the world’s best traveler or uncomfortable and anxious during the entire ordeal, it’s best to ration their food and water preflight to make sure that there are no accidents mid-flight. After all, a clean carrier is a much nicer way for your pet to travel in than a messy one. Go ahead and feed them that morning if you have an afternoon or evening flight, but make sure to limit their portion and allow them to eliminate as completely as possible before leaving for the airport.
Allow them to drink water whenever needed up until about two hours before the flight. This way they will be less likely to have an accident. During long flights make sure that you are keeping them hydrated, without overdoing it. It’s a fine line to tow but a necessary one for a successful flight.
- Fly Direct
If you have the option to fly directly, always, always, ALWAYS take it! The less time your pet has to stay in their carrier, the happier they will be and thus the less stressful the trip will be for you. If you cannot avoid a plane transfer or layover, try to make sure your layover is long enough you can allow your pet to go to the bathroom at a pet port, a designated area blocked off for pets to relieve themselves.
It is also a good idea to make sure your layover airport actually has a pet port available. Long layovers can be tough on your pets if they’re used to roaming freely, so try to keep them as short as possible without cutting out their potty break.
With advanced planning, traveling with your pet can be fun. It’s a great feeling knowing your furry friend will be at your destination with you!