To some people, their pets are their children. And if it’s normal to go on vacation with your kids, it should be normal to go traveling with your fur baby. The only issue is that it is a little bit more complicated to travel with a pet. You can’t simply buy him a plane ticket or strap him into the car. There are a lot of ways you need to prepare. I had to learn this recently when I went to go pick up my new puppy from an out-of-state location.
I wasn’t sure how the process of traveling with my new puppy would pan out because I had never done it before. After researching my options, I found out there is a lot you need to know before you bring an animal across state lines. As much as I prepared, there were still things that I learned during the process that I didn’t expect.
Here are some important tips for traveling with your fur baby:
1. Prepare for pet fees.
When I was considering having my puppy fly back with me, I had to look into boarding processes for different major airlines. While there were slight variations, one thing was certain: there is a fee to carry your animal on the plane. Most costs were between $100-$200, and there were size requirements to keep your baby in the plane cabin with you. If you decide to keep your baby with you, you have to have them in a carrier that fits the size requirements and you have to sacrifice your free carry on. Make sure to check with your specific airline for their pet requirements, but prepare to spend some extra money.
2. Get vaccinations in check.
In order to bring your pet on a plane, they have to have certain vaccinations. The issue is that most pets cannot be vaccinated until they are old enough. When I went to pick up my new baby a few weeks ago, I had to make the decision to travel with him in the car because he was only seven weeks old. Being such a young puppy, I wasn’t able to board him on the plane without his eight week vaccinations.
3. Have their toys ready.
I was traveling from South Carolina to New York City with my new pup, so I had to prepare for a long ride together. Puppies especially have short attention spans, so keeping them occupied for a long duration is tough. I had to have multiple toys ready for my new puppy so that he kept calm on the road.
4. Make time for food and the bathroom.
If you end up traveling in the car like I did, you’ll need to be prepared to take your new pet out during gas stops. They’ll have to use the bathroom frequently, especially if they’re young, and they will also need to eat three times a day.
5. Nap time is your best friend.
On your road stops or before you board the plane, make sure you play with your fur baby. The more they play, the more tired they will be. If you can get your pet to sleep for a good portion of your travel time, you won’t have to worry about them being disgruntled or uncomfortable.
It’s definitely possible to travel safely and happily with a pet. Just ensure that you research your airline’s specific requirements for vaccines and fees if you’re going by plane, and make sure you bring toys, food, and water. And remember, the more comfortable your pet is, the easier it will be to travel with them.