Our pets have an innate ability to make our lives that much better. Even being in their presence has been found to boost different aspects of our health, with 91% of dog owners noting their pooch has a positive impact on their mental wellbeing. Lots of owners look to make the most of these benefits by enlisting their furry friends as travel companions. These types of trips can bring about wonderful opportunities for creating memories, but they do require a little extra planning than a wholly human holiday.
Typically, when looking to travel abroad with a pet, people will be referring to either a cat or a dog. And while the type of pet you have will determine how you need to prepare for your trip away, there are some common considerations that need to be made for all animals. In this guide, we highlight some of the most important things you’ll need to keep your pet happy and healthy away from home.
A Pet-Friendly Spot
One of the most important things you’ll need to find before anything else is a pet-friendly destination to travel to. Naturally, the closer you are to home, the easier it will be to manage any anxiety or travel complications with your pet. If you want to venture further afield, finding a place that’s perfect for your four-legged friend can be a little more challenging. Not only will you need to confirm you’re able to keep a pet at your accommodation, but you’ll also want to ensure that the weather conditions are suitable for a dog or cat.
Luckily, with some research, you can find the perfect destination that accommodates both you and your pet’s needs. Start by searching for hotels, vacation rentals, or campsites that welcome pets – don’t forget to ask about any additional fees or rules for bringing your pet along. Also, consider checking out national parks or beaches near your chosen destination that allow pets on leashes, so you can fill up your itinerary with plenty of activities you can both enjoy.
A Vet’s Approval
Another key thing you’ll need (and something you’ll have to get early on) is the green light from your vet that your pet is safe to travel. Make sure to see your vet well in advance of your trip – a last-minute consultation could derail your travel plans. In fact, experts recommend that you speak to a veterinary professional at least one month before your holiday. Bear this in mind when booking – if your vet doesn’t clear your pet for travel, you’ll need to make alternative arrangements to leave them at home, which can take time to arrange.
They will be able to ensure that all of the necessary vaccinations and treatments are up to date and carry out any procedures that are required by your destination country or country of residence for returning home. These may include blood tests and installing microchips. From there, they will be able to issue you with a health certificate which is a requirement for visiting lots of countries across the globe. While it may seem like another task on your to-do list, ensuring your pet’s health and safety is well worth the effort.
On top of this, your local vet may be able to help you prepare for your trip by identifying veterinary practices close to your holiday accommodation. Having these contact details is always helpful just in case an emergency arises.
Traveling can be quite stressful and unsettling for pets, especially when they’re not used to being away from home for an extended period of time. However, you can help to make them feel more comfortable, both while traveling and at your destination, by bringing along a few items from home. Toys, blankets, and (if you have space) their favorite cushion or bed can all help animals feel more at home wherever they are in the world.
These can act as a distraction for your pet and will provide reassurance when they find themselves in entirely unfamiliar surroundings. A particularly anxious dog or cat can make traveling that much more stressful for their owners, so take any steps you can to enhance their comfort levels when on the move.