Planning a trip somewhere with your pet to escape the cold this winter? Traveling with a pet can be fun, but it can also be stressful if you’re not prepared. As pet owners ourselves, the team at Bogue Animal Hospital wants your pet to be safe and happy during your trip, just as much as you do. That’s why we’ve provided the following tips for traveling with a pet. Whether you’ll be driving or flying to your destination, consider these tips so you both can have a safe, relaxing journey.
Choose Your Pet Carrier Wisely
If your pet will be traveling in a carrier, make sure you choose one that’s comfortable and spacious. Keep in mind that all airlines have dimension limits for pet carriers in the cabin, so if you’ll be taking your furry friend as your carryon, make sure the carrier does not exceed these limits. Although there are soft-sided and hard-shell carriers available, for air travel, a soft-sided one is best if your pet will be in the cabin, since it allows for more flexibility under the seat.
Make Sure Your Pet Has ID
Whether in the form of a microchip or ID tag—or both—your dog or cat should have sufficient identification, in case they become separated from you. Make sure the microchip and ID tag have your current address and contact information as well. Having a recent photo handy in your phone is also a great idea.
Make Sure Your Pet’s Vaccinations Are Updated
There’s no way to plan for what your pet may encounter at your final destination. They might come in contact with another animal, parasites, or something else that could harm them. That’s why it’s so important for your pet to be current on their vaccinations. Some airlines even require proof of vaccinations (in the form of a health certificate) before allowing your pet on their plane. This is usually the case for international travel. Check your airline for their policy before booking your flight to avoid any surprises. If your pet’s vaccinations aren’t updated, or if a health certificate is required, schedule an appointment at Bogue Animal Hospital.
Know the Fees
Most airlines charge an additional fee to fly with a pet, which is usually around $100 each way. You can find this information on your airline’s website or by calling them. Most airlines require that you book your pet’s flight when you book your own, so keep this in mind as you do your planning. Ask about the cancellation policy, too, in case you decide not to take your pet along at the last minute.
Expect the Unexpected
From acts of God to accidents, anything can happen during your trip that can put your four-legged friend in danger. Always pack an emergency kit that includes basic first aid items when you travel with your pet. It’s also a great idea to get familiar with the emergency veterinarians near your destination. If necessary, you can use your smartphone’s location setting and do a search for “Emergency Vet Near Me.”
And of course, if you determine that traveling with your pet is NOT the best decision, for whatever reason, Bogue Animal Hospital offers boarding services for dogs and cats. If you have questions about these travel tips or would like to book a boarding stay, give us a call at 316-722-1085.