Planning on taking a trip for Spring break? Many of us will travel this season and it’s not uncommon to include your pets in your travel plans. They are part of the family after all! Consider the following tips to ensure you and your pet travel safely:
If You’re Traveling by Plane:
- Check with the airline prior to booking your ticket to see what their rules and restrictions are for traveling with pets. Some airlines only allow pets to travel in the cargo. This can be extremely dangerous some animals, especially brachycephalic dog breeds (bulldogs, pugs, etc.). If travel by plane is the only option, opt for the cabin if possible. Some airlines will allow cats and small dogs in the cabin for an additional fee.
- Purchase a direct flight and avoid lay overs. To reduce the amount of time your pet may be feeling uncomfortable or anxious on a plane, choose the shortest possible flight to your destination.
- Prepare ahead of time and avoid feeding your pet for 4-6 hours before traveling. A pet with a full stomach is more likely to experience gastrointestinal upset. However, a small amount of water is okay and should be provided.
- Pet Identification is very important. Your pet should wear a collar with an ID tag. In addition, label your pet’s crate or carrier with their name, your name, your address, your phone number, and your destination.
If You’re Traveling by Car:
- Ensure your pet has proper, updated identification and all their necessary supplies. This includes their leash, harness, food, treats, water, and water dish.
- Keep your pet restrained during the car ride. Cats should always ride in a carrier. Dogs should either ride in a carrier or restrained with a properly fitting canine seatbelt. To avoid airbag injuries, keep pets out of the front seat. Under no circumstances should pets be allowed to ride in the bed of a truck.
- Plan accordingly and remember you will need to make plenty of rest stops. Most animals aren’t accustomed to long road trips. Give your pet plenty of opportunities to potty and to get some exercise.
- Never leave your pet unattended in the car. The temperature inside a parked car can get dangerously hot or cold very quickly. Many parts of the country are still relatively warm this time of year, and even on a mild 72 degree day, the temperature can spike above 100 degrees.