With Thanksgiving around the corner, many people are making out-of-town plans for the holidays. Although some pets do better with a pet sitter or at a boarding facility, others are included in their family’s travel plans. If you choose to bring your four-legged companion along on your holiday adventures, be sure to read these travel safety tips for pets:
Traveling by Car
- Plan ahead: Make sure your pet is equipped with a collar and updated ID tag before hitting the open road. Bring any necessary pet supplies including a leash, your pet’s regular food and treats, water, and a water dish.
- Keep pets properly restrained: 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 for plenty of rest breaks: Most animals aren’t accustomed to long road trips. Give your pet plenty of opportunities for elimination and to get some exercise.
- Don’t’ leave your pet in the car alone: 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.
Traveling by Plane
- Consider other options: Traveling in the cargo hold can be dangerous for 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.
- Think identification: In addition to your pet wearing a collar and an ID tag, label your pet’s crate with your pet name, your address, your phone number, and your destination. Also, it’s a good idea to bring a recent picture of your pet.
- Opt for a direct flight: 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.
- Do not feed your pet for 4-6 hours before travel: A pet with a full stomach is more likely to experience gastrointestinal upset. However, a small amount of water is okay. Try placing ice cubes in a small water dish attached to the inside of your pet’s crate.