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Are you planning to travel with your pet during the holiday season? Do you want to learn some important pet safety tips to keep your furry friend safe while you’re on the road together? If so, you’re not alone!
In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the most important steps you can take to protect your pet during your travels. Read through this information to get a basic idea of how to begin, and don’t forget to look up specific information related to your hotels, flights, or other travel needs along the way.
6 Pet Safety Tips for Travelling with Your Pet During the Holidays
Pet owners commonly choose to bring their pets with them when they travel during the holidays, whether that be to visit family members, friends or simply going on vacation. If you do decide to travel with your pet, it’s important to know what to do to help ensure your trip is as safe and relaxing as possible for him.
Below are 6 holiday travel pet safety tips pet parents should keep in mind when planning their trips:
Use an Appropriate Carrier
First and foremost, make sure you have an appropriate, safe carrier for your pet. It should be large enough for them, but not so large that they will jostle around inside it. A general rule of thumb is that your pet should be able to stand and turn around comfortably within the carrier.
Carriers for airplane travel will need to meet different requirements than those for car travel. Take your time and do your research to figure out which features your carrier needs for the safety of your pet.
Take Practice Trips
Your pet might not be experienced with traveling. If this is the case, you may need to take some practice trips to see how your pet will behave before you plan a longer trip. If you can afford to do so, try spending the night in a hotel with your pet close to your home. This way, you can judge how he will behave in this type of environment.
If staying in a hotel for a night is not an option, take some longer car trips with your pet to see how he does during lengthier travel. A day trip to a different dog park, beach, or state park in your area might be a good solution.
Bring Your Pet’s Bed
If your pet has a bed that he sleeps on at home, or even if they just have a favorite blanket or pillow, be sure to bring it along for the trip. This bed will smell like your pet and will remind them of the comforts of home, which can make them much calmer during your travels together.
Be sure your pet has access to this bed any time when they aren’t confined to their crate. Some pets may also prefer to have the bed in the crate or carrier with them; however, others may soil the bed while traveling, so it may be best to avoid this unless you know for sure your pet will not go to the bathroom on their bed.
Give Your Pet Their Own Space
Your pet most likely has a space that he can call his own in your home. However, when you’re on the road with them, they won’t have access to this space anymore, and this may stress them out. Another important holiday travel pet safety tip is to provide your pet with a small, comfortable place they know is safe and secure for naps and just getting away from it all.
Some pets are perfectly comfortable in their carriers (with the door open) for this purpose. Others may need a secure crate or a small corner of the room that can be theirs, even temporarily.
Change as Little as Possible
If your pet is used to their routine at home, then it’s important to keep that up as much as possible. If your pet is able to engage in their normal routine, it won’t feel as strange that they are not in their normal environment.
Some ways you can keep your pet’s routine the same include taking them to go to the bathroom at the same times as you would at home, feeding them the same food on the same schedule, and having plenty of playtime and enrichment time with them as well. It’s also important to limit their contact with strangers until they settle down somewhat on the trip.
One of the most important holiday travel pet safety tips to keep in mind is to be patient. Understand that your pet is going to be nervous during these travels. Even if they’re a seasoned pro at traveling with you, there may be times when they are more nervous than they would be at home, and this is perfectly normal.
Be patient with your pet as well as with yourself during this time. Traveling and the holidays can be stressful for everyone, but your pet will be looking to you for guidance.
Call VEG for More Holiday Travel Pet Safety Tips
There’s a lot of information to keep in mind when you’re going to be traveling with your pet, and long trips require plenty of planning ahead of time as well. However, with the right attention to your pet’s needs and preparation beforehand, you can set yourself and your pet up for success during your trip.
If your pet becomes very anxious or carsick on long car rides, it might be a good idea to speak to your vet for a mild sedative, anti-anxiety medication, or anti-nausea medication for the trip. Your vet can give you more information specific to your pet’s needs. If this is the case, it’s also a good idea to know the who and where the closest emergency vet is during your travels as well as when you’re at your destination.
With locations all over the country, our team at VEG is here for you and your pet whenever you need us, day or night. All of our locations are open 24 hours on holidays, with many open 24 hours every single day, so you never have to wait to get your pet the help they need. When you call VEG, you’ll speak directly with an emergency veterinarian who will be able to provide you with additional holiday travel pet safety tips or help if your pet is experiencing an emergency. So don’t wait if you have any questions or need immediate veterinary care, call our team today.