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Traveling with Fido: Tips for Flying or Driving with a Pet

Sometimes it’s fun to go on a trip with the whole family…even those who aren’t human. Bringing your four legged friend with you on vacation can be a great idea if you plan carefully. In fact, according to Daily News, 42% of pet owners say that they travel annually with their cats and dogs and 90% have considered changing travel plans to accommodate their pets. With summer vacations at their peak, check out these travel tips before hitting the road with your dog or cat.

Flying with a pet

  • Check with the airline to get the exact rules on traveling with a pet prior to making the arrangements. Each airline has a different set of rules.
  • Make sure your animal fasts for a couple hours before getting on the plane to prevent them from getting sick while in-flight. Pack food in your carry-on so you can feed them as soon as possible once you land.
  • Put your pet’s favorite toy, bone or blanket in their crate with them to calm their nerves and remind them of home.
  • Clearly label your animal’s crate like you would your suitcase with your name and cell phone number. Also, make sure your animal is wearing a sturdy collar with identification tags.
  • Make sure your pet is up to date on all health certificates and vaccinations. You will be asked to show proof of this at the airport so bring all necessary paperwork.
  • Make sure your pet has some access to water right before the flight and immediately after landing.
  • If your pet is not riding with you in the cabin, don’t make a big goodbye scene. It will only cause them to get more anxious.

Driving with a pet

  • Before you leave, do a test run. Go on a couple short drives with your animal to make sure it is familiar with the surroundings before a big road trip.
  • Animals can get car sick too. Talk to your vet and make sure you are prepared with medicine if you happen to need it.
  • Crate the dog or cat while you are driving. You will be less distracted which will make your drive a lot safer for the both of you.
  • Make time for frequent pit stops to let your pet go to the bathroom, eat and exercise. Do not feed them in the car in order to prevent motion sickness.
  • Bring water bottles to ensure the animal stays hydrated at all times.
  • Make sure the car is always well ventilated and don’t leave a pet alone in an unattended, closed vehicle, especially in the summer. According to PETA, on a 78°F day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 90°F, and the inside of a car parked in the sun can reach 160°F in minutes.
  • If the animal is unfamiliar with long car rides, make sure to keep the energy in the car calm and positive to prevent anxiety.

Does your dog or cat go on vacation with you? What tips do you have?

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