Do you Travel With
The Family Pet?

Family Travel with the Family pet...

Ever tried to get an angry cat in a carrier without a scratch?

Or struggled to get your dog to sit down in the car when the windows are open?

Most dogs love traveling in the car once they have been acclimated. However, many, especially cats, do not.

Air travel may get the trip over faster, but it's still stressful for your pet.

There are some things you should consider before you travel with the family pet in the car or on the plane.

Car Travel

  • To ease your pet into travel mode, play with them in the car and reward good behavior. Prior to the trip, run some quick errands with your dog or cat.
  • Before setting out on your trip, take your pet for a walk or play with them to tire the dog or cat out.

  • Do not feed your pet or give him a great deal of water just prior to departure.
  • For dogs, plan pit stops at least every two hours to exercise them on a leash.
  • A Seat Harness can prevent your pet from getting loose if someone opens the door and will provide safe transport while in motion.

  • Call ahead to reconfirm pet costs and ensure the hotel is pet-friendly.
  • Do not leave your pet unattended in a hot vehicle!

    If you must for a short period of time, you can find battery-operated fans that affix to a partially opened window to help the car stay cool.

    If you have air conditioning independant of the engine running, you can safely leave a dog in the vehicle.  However, there have been many cases of well-meaning people breaking the cars windows in the mistaken belief that the dog is in peril.  Use a sign saying something to the effect that the dog is not in danger.

    Air Travel

    Do not tranquilize pets in flight! Dogs control body temperature by panting, not sweating. The combination of tranquilizers and altitude can slow breathing and prevent dogs from panting, leaving no defense against temperature changes in the cargo hold.

    Luckily, we have some effective natural anxiety medicines to bring your travel with the family pet a sense of calm.

  • Carry a leash with you so you can walk your pet before you check in and after you arrive at your destination. For your pet's safety, do not put the leash inside with the animal.
  • Book a non-stop flight early in the morning or late at night when temperatures are cooler.
  • Mark the kennel with your pet's name, "LIVE ANIMAL," contact information at the destination and colorful electric tape to make the kennel identifiable and easy to see.
  • Once on the plane, ask the flight attendant to confirm your pet is safely in the cargo hold.
  • Freeze the water in the pet's dish for longer-lasting hydration during flight.
  • Traveling with the family pet abroad?

    Many countries and even Hawaii require proof of rabies vaccination. Several countries require a six-month quarantine, which can be done at home in the US after proving absence of rabies.

    Be sure to check requirements long before you travel with your family pets!

    For any trip, you'll need an approved carrier, a health certificate obtained from your vet and ID tags.

    Travel With The Family Pet - Dog First Aid Articles