Taking Trips with Pets

Flying with your fur-baby

Many people today have pets and the majority of those people think of them as their family, as my husband and I do. We treat our cat, Fester, like he is our child sometimes. So how could you go on a family vacation without bringing along your four-legged friend? Taking trips with pets can be stressful for both you and your pet. Make sure that you have your pet checked by a vet to be sure they are in the best condition possible before bringing them away with you.

You will need to buy a carrying case for them and they will need to stay inside it. The exception to this rule is if you have a service animal or a doctor’s note stating they are a “companion”. This allows you to keep them out of their carrying case, even on board your flight! Provided your pet is under the weight restriction and able to fly under the seat in front of you, they can sit in your lap for the duration of the flight.

If you have an animal that is easily irritated and upset you might want to find some way to help calm them. Some vets offer medication for this, but there are natural alternatives as well. When we moved to Wisconsin, Brandon’s mom sent Fester to us. His dad hopped on a flight to Chicago for work where we picked him up. She used a lavender essential oil collar and he had no problems. Our cat Fester slept right through the flight and stayed awake, but calm, through the 3 hour car ride to our new home. Do remember, that your pet may be drowsy for a short while before finally waking up once you remove their collar. The Sentry Collar that Brandon’s mom  used can be bought for both felines or canines and come in many sizes.

Choosing a carrying case for small pets

Taking trips with pets

My sister carrying her cat, Mika.

Taking trips with pets

One of the best carrying cases for a cat is the cat pack. There are a few versions of this out there. A popular one right now is a back pack with a round window for your cat to look out of. My sister bought one that you can wear as a back pack or you can roll it behind you. It is made of mesh, very breathable and it provided enough room for her cat to be very comfortable.

Make sure that your pet fits correctly in the traveling case you choose. If you plan on bringing your dog or cat into the cabin there are regulations to follow. You will need to make sure that the carrying case will fit underneath of the seat in front of you. Check-In will make sure that your pet’s case is up to regulations. Beware. If your case is not up to regulation you can be turned away. If you buy a new carrying case bring it in a few days before your flight to make sure it will fit.

Another thing to think about when taking trips with pets is whether they fit comfortable inside their case. Your furry friend should be able to turn around completely inside their carrying case. If your animal is unable to turn around completely,  your flight representative may turn your pet away. Try it out ahead of time.

Remember, before a flight do not feed your pet since they can sometimes get motion sickness. Unfortunately, your kitty or doggy does not get a barf bag to use. Make sure they are sedated, they remain in their case, and they do not eat prior to any flights.

taking trips with pets: on the road

Taking Trips with Pets

Toddles

Taking trips with pets

Fester

 

 

 

 

 

If you need to bring your pet on the road with you, you may want to use an SUV. You should try to make an area for them to lay down on their own bed if possible. Most animals do not like the car so you may want to use the lavender collar I mentioned above, here as well.

You will also need to factor in time to stop for bathroom breaks if you have a dog. A lot of rest stops have areas for your dog to use for activity or bathroom. For cats, you can bring a litter box in your car. If you do bring a litter box, keep in mind you may need to open a window every few hundred miles. Make sure you keep your cat in a carrying case in cars as well. They can be distracting or they may even escape through an open window.

Be sure to always keep your pet on a leash, even with open windows. Just tie the leash to a spot in the car that is safe. Always be sure to bring extra doggy bags for “number 2” and get them enough exercise daily. It’s good to bring them a a few toys to keep them distracted as well and make sure you bring enough food with you for the entire trip.

Sharing your life with your pets is so important to many, so it would be terrible to leave them at home. When taking trips with pets be sure that your pet is comfortable. Whether your fur-baby is in the back of your car or under the seat in front of you, make sure they are healthy and you follow all airline regulations. If you do all this then you should have smooth sailing.

Happy travels!

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