If you’re planning a vacation this summer and are considering taking your pet with you, there are various things you need to weigh up first before making that final decision.  Here are some essential tips on travelling with a pet.

Your destination

The aspects you’ll need to consider when travelling with your pet on holiday depend on where you are going.  If you are travelling in your own country, then the considerations will be different than if you are travelling overseas, for example.  However, any journey could be potentially stressful for an animal, so no matter how far you are going, early preparation is the key to ensure everything goes smoothly and the experience is as stress-free as possible for you both.

Travelling in your own country

If you’re taking a vacation in your own country, then you’ll need to make sure you have an appropriate carrier for your pet during the journey.  Introduce the carrier to your pet some time before you travel, so they become familiar with it.  Put one or two of your pet’s favourite toys or a blanket inside the carrier so they feel more comfortable with it.  If you are travelling by car, it’s a good idea to take your pet on short trips beforehand in the car, so they get used to travelling this way.

Always bring plenty of food and drink supplies, as well as your usual pet care products.  Never leave your pet unattended during the journey, especially in a hot car, as this may cause them distress.

Avoid feeding your pet during the journey as it might make them feel uncomfortable.  Stick to a light meal about four hours before travelling.

Going further afield

If you’re taking a vacation overseas, then ideally you should consider leaving your pet at home, in a boarding kennel, for instance.  Overseas travel with an animal can be costly and requires a lot of consideration, so only take your pet with you if necessary. The rules and conditions vary depending on whether you are departing from an EU country and travelling within the EU, or whether you are travelling out of the EU.

If you’re travelling by air, always check with the airline some time beforehand on their individual policy with regards to bringing a pet.  You’ll need to use an authorised carrier.

You’ll also need to arrange for your pet to be seen by a vet for an examination.  Your pet will require a microchip, rabies vaccination, an official veterinary certificate or pet passport, and other treatment depending on the type of animal.

You will need documentation to prove that your pet fulfils the necessary requirements.  It’s worth contacting the embassy of the country you are visiting as well as departing from, to get the vital information you’ll need.

Other considerations

Travelling with a pet will mean you’ll need to allow more time for the check-in process, so allow at least three hours before departure time.  If you’re travelling by air, try to choose a direct flight.  Clearly label the pet’s carrier and its collar with your details on it.

Some pets will be allowed to travel in the cabin, but others will need to travel as cargo.  This depends on a number of factors, such as type of pet, height and weight of the pet, individual airline’s policy, whether the pet is trained to assist passengers with disabilities, etc.

When you arrive at your destination, examine your pet to make sure he or she is ok, and if in any doubt, consider calling a vet.

Crispin is a huge pet lover and knows how stressful travelling with a pet can be. His one must have travel item is a waterproof dog bed if you have a dog.

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