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Traveling with a pet isn’t always easy. It creates additional challenges that many pet parents don’t know how to overcome, especially if it’s their first time. 

We’ve put together a brief guide to teach you a few tips and tricks to make traveling with your pet easier.

How Do I Prepare My Pet for Travel?

Whether traveling overseas or taking a family road trip, traveling with your pet can be challenging. Fortunately, following the tips below can make the experience smoother and less stressful. Continue reading to learn how to safely travel with a dog or cat.

Tips for Traveling with a Dog on an Airplane

Air travel with your pet doesn’t have to be a headache. Follow these tips for traveling with a dog on an airplane to create a more comfortable experience.

Purchase a High-quality Carrier

A high-quality carrier or airline crate can make all the difference when traveling with a pet. It keeps them calm and comfortable throughout the trip and gives them a secure place of their own. If the crate is big enough for the dog or cat to stand, lie down, turn around, and sit comfortably, they will stay safe and tranquil throughout the flight.

It’s important to note that filling the crate with toys will limit your pet’s space, which may decrease their comfort while causing distress. Avoid packing the carrier with unnecessary items to enhance your furry friend’s traveling experience.

Get Them Accustomed to Strangers

Plane cabins are often crowded spaces full of new faces. Socializing your pet regularly (especially if you have a dog) will help them cope with strangers and new situations while reducing their stress. Taking your pet to a park or pet-friendly restaurants will get them accustomed to people and unusual sounds, significantly enhancing their traveling experience.

Book Direct Flights When Possible

Long journeys with numerous flights can stress your pet. Having to board several planes in multiple airports will significantly heighten their anxiety levels. It’s best to book direct flights to ensure your pet stays calm and relaxed during their travels.

Additionally, booking direct flights eliminates the chance of baggage handlers leaving your pet on the tarmac during turbulent weather or layovers. It also reduces baggage personnel contact, diminishing potential mishandling while changing planes.

How to Travel with a Dog Internationally

Following the above tips will make airplane trips, whether nationally or internationally, much easier for you and your pet. However, you must ensure your pet has all the required shots and vaccinations within ten days of the departure for international trips. Research the country’s pet vaccine requirements and schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to obtain a health certificate for your four-legged friend.

Traveling with Dogs in Cars: Long Distance

Preparing your pet for road trips is similar to readying them for airplanes. Below are some of the best ways to prepare for traveling with dogs in a car for long-distance trips.

Get Them Accustomed to Riding in Cars

Driving in a car can be a harrowing experience for your pet, especially when traveling long distances. The fast speeds and peculiar environment can skyrocket their anxiety, increasing their nausea and stress. Taking your pet on a few short drives before departing on your road trip will help them grow accustomed to cars, making the excursion more enjoyable for you and your family.

It’s best to start with short drives and extend the distance each time. This increases the pet’s familiarity with the vehicle while getting them used to long drive times.

Skip Your Pet’s Last Meal on Traveling Day

Pets are often prone to motion sickness and become nauseous if they travel in a car for too long. If your pet has travel anxiety, it can worsen motion sickness and lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other issues you’d rather avoid. Skipping your pet’s last meal will lighten their stomach and decrease the chances of an accident occurring on the road.

However, you don’t want to starve your pet before your road trip. You only want to skip your dog’s last meal to diminish motion sickness symptoms. Continue feeding your pet regularly until a few hours before departure.

Pack a Travel Kit for Your Pet

Preparing a travel kit will help you keep your pet’s things organized while giving you valuable tools to enhance their traveling experience. Giving your pet their favorite pillow or toy during long drives will reduce stress and make them more comfortable during long excursions. It will also give them a familiar item to ease their mind if they become anxious.

An efficient pet-friendly travel kid typically includes:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Bowls
  • Leash
  • Poop scoop
  • Plastic bags
  • Grooming supplies
  • Medication
  • First-aid kit
  • Medical documentation

How Do You Calm Pets When Traveling?

Most pet owners want to keep their pets as calm as possible when traveling. However, different pets require varying calming methods.

Although pulling over to take your pet for a walk will calm dogs, it won’t have the same effect on cats. It’s best to talk to your veterinarian to discover efficient ways to keep your pet calm during long road trips or flights.

Contact Penny Paws Animal Clinic for Outstanding Veterinary Services in Texas

Penny Paws Animal Clinic is the number one choice for pet care and veterinary services in Texas. We make traveling with your pet easier by providing expert advice and medical documentation necessary for your next vacation. 

Whether your pet needs a routine checkup, you need tips for traveling with your cat, or you need to learn more about how to travel with a dog internationally, Penny Paws Animal Clinic is here for you.

If you’re worried about traveling with a pet for the first time and need veterinary guidance, contact the Penny Paws Animal Clinic nearest you today!