Summer is here, vacations are around the corner, and you’re dreaming of the next destination with your name on it. Don’t let your pet miss out on all fun – there are plenty of ways to travel with your pet to make sure they are comfortable and happy. Here is all you need to know about travelling with your pet.

Before setting off

Like any journey, travelling with your pet requires some prep work. The most important of this is the health check-up. Take your dog to the vet to make sure that they are up to date with all their booster shots and are fit to travel. Tell your vet what country or place you plan to visit, as they may have advice on any extra precautions that should be taken for your pet. If your vet suggests that you travel with copies of your pet’s medical records, then make sure you compile these before leaving.

But it isn’t all just health and booster shots. Travelling with your pet involves accounting for emergencies – remember, you will be in an unfamiliar place and won’t have all your documents on hand. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Identification – Make sure your pet’s identification is up to date. If your dog has a collar and a name tag, make sure your phone number and address is on the name tag, and perhaps even the name of the hotel you are staying at. If your cat has a microchip, make sure all the information on the chip is up to date. Carry pictures of your pet just in case – they probably won’t come in handy, but they are useful to have in case your pet goes for a wander and you don’t know how to locate them.

Leash – And while we are on the topic of a wander, always travel with a leash. Dog leashes and cat leashes are extremely useful when visiting a new place for the first time, as it allows you to keep your pet close and therefore safe.

Visas or passport – If looking to travel to a foreign country, do your research as to whether your pet will be allowed into the country. The United Kingdom, for instance, has very strict quarantine laws for pets to protect against rabies. European countries now have a Pet Travel Scheme (or a pet passport) to allow pets to travel easily between member countries, but that may not apply for Indians. If there is a pet visa you need to apply for or any medicals shots you need to show to prove your pet’s eligibility, make sure you carry these with you.

On the go

How you travel to your destination is an important factor to consider when travelling with your pet. Each mode of transport will require different considerations.

Flights – Always look up airline policy on pets before booking flights. US airlines usually need you to prove that your pet is fit to travel at least 10 days before you take the flight. Check with your vet if it is best to tranquilise your pet for the journey, just to make the whole ordeal easier for them. And always look up airline guidelines on what kind of crates they allow – these are not standard from airline to airline and you may be stopped from boarding if the crate does not meet requirements. And remember to reserve your dog a place! Most airlines have a limited number of pets that they allow on each flight and these places are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Train – If travelling by train in India, make sure that your pet has plenty of food and water for the journey. Try not to do very long journeys, as that can be difficult for your dog. And when the train stops at major stations, walks your dog so that they get fresh air. Also remember to keep your dog on a leash throughout; you don’t want to have to run after your pet down the length of a train. Keep treats handy – your pet may need some encouragement.

Car – By far the most popular way to travel with your pet is by car. There are several things to consider when travelling with your pet this way.

  • Pet carriers are usually the best option to keep your pet safe from accidents. These travel crates are designed with seatbelts for your pet, but do make sure you tie the crate down in the car so that your dog is secure in case of an accident.
  • Create a travel kit that has everything you need in case of emergencies. This kit should include motion sickness medication for your pet, wet wipes and towels to clean the car from food (or any accidental vomit), gauze that can stay on pets, antibacterial spray, and anything else your pet cannot do without, such as their favorite stuffed toy.
  • Make sure you pack plenty of food for your pet, including treats. Treats are a great way to keep your pet happy if they are feeling uncomfortable.
  • Remember to take plenty of bathroom breaks. If your dog is young or very old and cannot control their bowel, pet diapers can be a good option.

Vacationing with your pet will mean a trip you won’t forget. Follow these steps above and you should be set to roll for a lovely, fun-filled summer.

[TMP1] Link to TPP dog leashes.

[TMP2]Link to TPP cat leashes.