People are on the go now more than ever and travel (whether for vacation or work) is a part of almost everyone’s lives these days. Pet owners have options when traveling to either bring their pet(s) with them or leave them at home. Each pet is different and the decision to bring your dog or cat along with you should be based on whether your pet can handle a journey and can quickly adjust to a different environment.
When traveling with pets, you should first consider whether your pet is up for traveling. Cats, in particular, are not always good travelers specifically if they did not travel as kittens. Cats can become very anxious in cars and the stress of simply going on a long ride may be enough for you to leave your cat at home and make other arrangements. Due to their territorial nature, cats can also be stressed unnecssarily when brought to a new environment. They have already staked out their territory in your home but a new location is viewed as a place that may have threats, causing their anxiety level to rise. Cats can be good travelers if they were brought up as kittens traveling but if the first time they travel is later in life, you may be in for a difficult situation.
If you decide to leave your cat at home, there are options for hiring pet sitters including: National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), Rover, and DogVacay. These sites have options for both cats and dogs and enable you to find local people who specialize in taking care of pets. There are also technologies that enable you to feed and keep in touch with your pets such as PetTrax RightBite (remote feeding) and Petcube (remote viewing). Dogs are typically better travelers and usually love the idea of going to different places and exploring. You want to be sure that you pack all of the necessary supplies when taking a dog on a trip including: food, water, doggy clean-up bags, and toys. It is also important to remember to follow safety recommendations when traveling with dogs. Car restraints should always be used to not only keep you dog safe, but to also keep her from distracting the driver.
When traveling out of the country, all pets are required to have the international standard microchip implanted (also known as FDX-B standard microchip) so if you are having your pet microchipped, always ask for this version. Pet carriers are also typically required for airline travel and, of course, always check with your airline for rules and costs associated with bringing your pet on a flight. If you have an anxious pet, check with your veterinarian and she may be able to prescribe a sedative that you can give to your pet when on a long car ride or on a flight. The good news is that whether you decide to travel with your pets or leave them at home, there are many options for making the experience as comfortable and stress free as possible for both you and your furry family members.