Photo Credit: TN
Tips for Traveling with Pets This Summer
Summer is right around the corner and that means cross-country road trips with best friends and your pets. However, you have to take special care of your furry friends if you plan on taking them on the road with you or taking them to the skies. This summer, keep your pets happy, healthy, and safe by following these tips for traveling with pets during the warmer months.
1. Check for Summer Airline Embargoes
Due to the extreme during the Summer months, many airlines enforce summer embargoes restricting pets from traveling during certain times of the year and prohibiting some breeds from flying. Many experts warn against pets flying completely however, if it is necessary, check in with your airline to find out their policy for pet travel during the warmer months. Keep in mind that airlines plan their embargo schedule around heat temperatures from last year. So take a look at past summers to gauge when would be the best time to plan your flight with your pet.
2. Travel During Cooler Months
Whether you decide to fly or drive with your pets, traveling during the cooler months is always the better option when moving around with animals. Pets can easily become overheated and may not always have access to water, especially if you’re flying. Airlines also typically don’t have restrictions on pets traveling in cargo during the cooler months so you’ll be less to run into embargoes like during the Summer.
3. Purchase a Travel Crate
Comfort and ventilation are key when it comes to purchasing a travel crate. You want your pet to be comfortable with the crate so they will be alright with remaining in it throughout the travel journey. Crate train early with your pet to get them comfortable being in it so it won’t be a surprise to them when you hit the road. Here’s a guide to help you select the best size travel crate for your pet.
4. Visit the Vet Before Traveling
As a pet owner, it’s always better to be safe than sorry so be sure to take your pet to the veterinarian before heading out on a long journey. Pets who have health issues may not be in the best condition for big voyages and may need to stay home if it’s an optional trip. So check with the vet to make sure you’re furry family member is fit for travel. Also, if you’re traveling internationally, you may need a certification for your pet from the USDA. Talk to your vet about your destination to see if you require additional documents for your pet before traveling.
5. Keep Food and Water Handy
You want to make sure your pet is well nourished and hydrated before embarking on your journey with them. Since they’ll be traveling for an extended period of time, you want to make sure they eat enough so they won’t get hungry while traveling. Experts suggest limiting food two hours before leaving out if they are going to be going on a long trip.
Hydration is also important, so keep water available for your pet at all times. If you are flying you might consider freezing their water bowl so the water can slowly melt overtime for them to drink while flying. If you are driving, keep portable water bowls on deck and stop for potty breaks along the way as needed.
6. Go For A Long Walk Before Heading Out
A good way to ensure your pet sleeps a large portion of the travel time is to tire them out beforehand. You can do this with a long walk or playtime the evening before or right before you get on the road. This will also help keep them calm while traveling.
7. Call Ahead
Some hotels, airlines, cabins, and resorts have specific regulations and rules when it comes to pet stay. This summer, make sure your bases are covered by calling ahead to make sure pets are allowed and to find out their pet accommodations. This could save you a headache later so take the extra time to call ahead.
8. Update Your Pets ID Tags
Pet ID tags are a lifesaver to ensure someone can reach you if you ever get separated from your pet while traveling. Before heading on vacation, take some time to update your pet’s ID tags. It may also be worth making sure their microchip information is current and attaching temporary tags that have your contact information on them in case of emergency or separation.
9. Practice with Your Accessories In Advance
You don’t want to surprise your pet with a ton of new travel accessories the day of your trip. Take some time to practice with your pet to ensure their comfort with their new things and will travel easily. This includes crate training with your new travel crate and practicing walking with leashes and harnesses.
10. Don’t Leave Your Pet Unattended in Cars
If you’re traveling by car this summer, be wary of leaving your pets unattended in your vehicle. Not only does this leave you vulnerable to pet thieves, but temperatures in cars can rise to 120 degrees in the warmer months so keep your dog safe by taking them with you when you exit the car.