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As pet owners, we understand that our furry friends become integral members of our family. Whether it’s a weekend getaway by car or a long-distance trip by plane, ensuring the safety and well-being of our pets during travel should always be a top priority. In honor of National Pet Travel Safety Day on January 2nd, let’s explore some essential tips to keep your pets safe and comfortable during car and plane journeys.

Car Travel Tips For Pets:

  1. Secure your pet: Invest in a suitable pet restraint system such as seat belts, car harnesses, or crates.  Here is a good one for a larger or two small dogs. These restraints assist in preventing injuries to your pet and keep them safe from sudden stops or collisions.
  2. Never EVER put your pet in the back of a pick-up truck.
  3. Restrain pets in the backseat: Always place your pet in the backseat. It limits their chances of being injured should an airbag deploy and avoids possible driver distractions.
  4. Keep comfort in mind: Create a cozy environment by placing their favorite blanket or cushion in the car. Familiar scents can help alleviate anxiety during travel.
  5. Stay hydrated and take frequent breaks: Ensure your pets have access to fresh water throughout the journey, and make regular stops to allow them to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and get some exercise.
Animals in crates at airport waiting for travel.

Pets waiting at airport for travel

Plane Travel Tips:

  1. Check the airline’s pet policy: Before booking your flight, thoroughly review the airline’s guidelines and restrictions concerning pet travel. Different airlines have different regulations, including crate sizes, breed restrictions, and additional fees.
  2. Visit the vet: Schedule a visit to the veterinarian to ensure your pet is healthy and fit for air travel. Airlines typically require a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel.
  3. Crate selection and training: Select a sturdy and well-ventilated crate that meets the airline’s requirements. Introduce your pet to the crate gradually to make them feel comfortable inside before the journey. Familiarity with the crate reduces anxiety during the flight.
  4. Identification and paperwork: Attach identification tags with your contact information to your pet’s collar and crate. Take every precaution that the label will not accidentally be removed or the writing smeared by accident.  Additionally, carry all necessary paperwork, including vaccination records, recent photos, and microchip details.

General Tips:

  1. Pack a travel kit: Prepare a pet travel kit containing essentials such as food, water, medication, a leash, waste bags, and comfort items. Having these readily available ensures your pet’s needs are met throughout the journey.
  2. Avoid sedation unless advised by a vet: Sedation can affect your pet’s balance and equilibrium during travel. Consult your veterinarian to discuss safe alternatives if your pet suffers from anxiety or motion sickness.
  3. Familiarize yourself with pet-friendly accommodations: Research and pre-book pet-friendly accommodations at your destination. Ensure the hotel or rental property meets your pet’s needs and has suitable amenities for their comfort.  If you can’t find a pet-friendly place, be sure to book an excellent pet sitting company.  Click here for information on How To Find The Perfect Pet Sitting Company For Your Furry Friends,
  4. Gradual acclimation: Another great travel tip for pets for longer journeys is to gradually familiarize your pet with the travel environment.   Taking them on short car rides and incorporate crate familiarization sessions. This will help them adjust to the confinement and reduce anxiety.

Traveling with pets can be a rewarding experience when proper safety precautions are taken. National Pet Travel Safety Day serves as a reminder to prioritize our pets’ well-being during car and plane journeys. By following these essential travel tips for pets, we can ensure our furry companions stay safe, comfortable, and stress-free throughout the trip. Happy travels to you and your beloved pets!