How to Make Traveling with Pets Less Stressful
Traveling with pets gets a really bad rap. Many of the sensational stories that we hear in the media only give us the absolute worst details of pet travel, dominating our TV screens and radio programs with cases of owners behaving badly. But traveling with pets is certainly not all like that! While pet travel can be stressful, if you’re a prepared, proactive and responsible pet owner, then you can be sure that you have the ability to make traveling with pets a breeze. This is our guide to How to Make Traveling with Pets Less Stressful, with some tried and true tips. Follow these and you’ll be golden!
More Prep, Less Stress
Talking about How to Make Traveling with Pets Less Stressful, The key avoiding all that nasty stress when traveling is in the prep that you put in before your travel day. If you procrastinate and shy away from prep, then it’s likely to be a painful trip full of unwanted surprises! But, if you put in the time and effort to prepare like a boss, your trip will go far more smoothly, letting you actually enjoy your travels with your pet, rather than resenting them! Here’s how to do it.
Before You Travel
This is an important phase of your pet preparation phase – may be the most important! Preparing before you even leave on your adventure can save you numerous headaches, lots of time and maybe even money. Here are the most important things to do before you travel.
Check Your Destination
Before even clicking that book button, one surefire way to avoid a stress-inducing experience is to do your homework. Traveling with pet is not meant to be a spontaneous experience, in that you need to ensure when planning that the destination and areas that you plan on visiting with your pooch or puss are pet-friendly. Before getting your heart set on a travel destination with your pet, ensure that you work out whether it is suitable for you and your fur baby.
Organize the Paperwork
Once you’ve found the perfect destination, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and deal with that boring yet necessary evil—paperwork. If you’re flying, this is non-negotiable, as one cannot simply arrive at the airport and swan onto the plane at will! Flying, there are two options with your pet travel: take them aboard as an ESA approved by your doctor, or pay a pet fee to have them fly with you. Whichever applies to you, you will need to sort out the documentation for your pets according to airline regulations (which can vary greatly), normally at least 48 hours before you fly. It’s also a great idea to take printed copies of this documentation on the day of your flight to avoid misunderstandings with airline staff.
Prepare Your Pet for Your Chosen Mode of Travel
when talking about How to Make Traveling with Pets Less Stressful, Your pet (and you!) are going to have a far better experience with your travels if your pal is prepared. Even the most well-trained of pets can have a travel freak out, so the more travel-specific preparation you do, the better. Here are some tips to prep your furry buddy.
If you’re planning on flying with your pet then this is essential for ensuring they are ready to travel! Training your pet to enter and be happy in a crate for the duration of your flight will help you to have a calmer and more relaxed trip to your destination. Start by tempting your pet into their crate/carrier with copious amounts of treats and build up from there, slowly increasing the amount of time that they can stay inside. The goal here is to get your pet feeling comfortable in their carrier for the amount of time you will be flying plus two hours to account for any delays which may mean they need to stay inside for extra time.
Car Rides (and Lots of them!)
Whether you plan to travel by car or by plane with your pet, taking lots of practice car rides is a great precursor to transporting your pet on vacation or short trips! The sounds and vibrations of a car can mimic those of a plane, preparing your pet for flight. If you are road-tripping with your fur pal, then building up the amount of time your dog spends in the car is great practice to get them ready.
All good dog owners know that socialization is super important for their pup, meaning that this is something that you’re probably already doing. The more people, experiences and other pets that your pet is exposed to, the more resilient they will be in dealing with new situations. This is especially important while traveling, which by its very definition is a bunch of new experiences, usually packed into a short space of time!
Pack Everything You’ll Need, And More!
Packing everything your pet needs on the trip is super important to keep them feeling safe, secure and comfortable while enjoying your travels! Here is a list to get you started:
- Your pet’s favorite toys and bedding
- Litter box or waste bags
- Crate or travel carrier
- Food and treats with travel bowls
- Drinking water
- Medications and medical/vaccine records
- A formal health certificate from your vet if necessary (many airlines require one)
- Towel (for cleaning up messes or wiping paws)
- Travel throw (to serve as a blanket or car seat cover)
- Grooming supplies
- Pet first aid kit
Arriving at Your Destination
Talking about How to Make Traveling with Pets Less Stressful, One piece of insanely valuable advice when you’re traveling with a pet? Always have a map of your arrival airport handy because the first thing your pet is going to want to do when getting off the plane is to use a pet potty! With a map you can make a beeline for the closest, avoiding pet pee and poop stress.
During Your Travels
When you’re on the road to your destination or in the sky, it’s really useful to know businesses that are pet-friendly when you arrive where you will be staying. For road-trippers, try to plan out your rest stops in pet-friendly areas. If camping, always checks if pets are allowed in the areas where you plan to camp. Using online resources to help you work out the best hotels, restaurants, shops, bars, cafes and other businesses to frequent that are pet-friendly is one of the great things about the internet. Some great sites include Bring Fido and Pets Welcome. These can help you to know where you can bring your furry pal, to avoid the stress of being refused entry anywhere, and to make the most of your time together!
When we talk about How to Make Traveling with Pets Less Stressful, The rewards of traveling with a pet are great, and unlike the media and some people would have you believe, it needn’t necessarily be stressful! With robust preparation and a little forward planning, you will be on your way to having your best vacation yet.
Charvi Shah is the co-founder of Love with Travel Blog. She loves helping people unplug from the chaos, follow their bliss, travel more and create better memories. She inspires many people to travel more! Charvi`s travel focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.
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