Many of us consider our pets to be additional family members, so it’s only natural that we want to take them along with us on our family adventures.
Taking your dog or cat with you can make vacations much more fun for everyone, and it also eases the anxiety you might feel at the thought of leaving them behind.
However, bringing them along with you creates a whole new list of worries, and you need to make sure you’re prepared.
This way, you’ll be able to have the most enjoyable experience possible.
Whether you’re venturing further out into the country for the weekend or travelling overseas, here are some of our top tips for travelling with your pets.
Make sure you have the correct paperwork
If you’re planning a long trip, your pet won’t get very far without the correct paperwork.
Many EU and non-EU countries require incoming pets to have the following:
- A microchip
- A valid rabies vaccination
- An animal health certificate or valid pet passport that’s accepted in the country you’re travelling to
- An export health certificate (EHC)
- Tapeworm treatment (if you’re taking your dog directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, or Malta)
All health documents must be signed by an accredited veterinarian. Before signing, they will confirm that your pet is healthy enough to travel and that they’re up to date with all necessary vaccinations.
Of course, if you’re staying within England, Scotland, or Wales, you won’t be required to obtain any of these documents before you go on your way.
Keep your pet hydrated
No matter if you’re travelling by car, coach, or train, you need to make sure your pet has access to water when they need it.
Allowing animals to self-regulate their water intake is ideal, but if this isn’t possible, stop frequently to give them a chance to drink and rehydrate.
For extra hydration (and reassurance!) why not switch to wet food instead of dry?
Wet food obviously has much higher moisture content than dry kibbles, so it can also help to further hydrate your four-legged friend.
Keep them comfortable in a travel crate
It can be tempting to give your furry friend lots of room, especially on long car trips, but giving them their own confined space is probably the better option.
If your dog or cat is crate trained, travelling in their crate will be much less stressful for them, since it’s their area of security.
Putting your pet in a travel crate is also much safer than having them sliding around the backseat or jumping into the front and causing a distraction. If you have no other option, you might want to invest in a pet seat belt for them instead – just for that extra peace of mind.
Pack a pet-friendly travel kit
Make sure to pack plenty of food, a bowl, their collar/harness and lead, poop bags, grooming supplies, medication, first aid kit, and – of course – any travel documents.
You should start your pet’s travel feeding schedule off with a light meal three to four hours before your departure, and avoid feeding them whilst you’re travelling.
Always opt for bottled water, too, as drinking water from an area your pet isn’t used to could upset their stomach.
Finally, to give your pet a sense of familiarity, bring a little piece of home on your travels with you by packing their favourite toy or blanket.
Need further advice?
Travelling with pets can be nothing short of stressful, but arming yourself with the right knowledge will certainly help to make your time away much less hectic.
That’s why our experts at Pet Shop Online are here to help.
Whenever you need advice or product recommendations, you’re more than welcome to get in touch with us.
We’re always more than happy to assist you!