No matter where you want to travel with your pet and by what means you plan to get there, there are rules and regulations to take into consideration. There are also tips to use to help make the process as stress free and painless for you and for your pet.
Travel by car
Whether you are visiting family, taking a trip or relocating, many people choose to transport their pet by car. If you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, you can always search for a reliable pet transport service to do the job for you. But if you decide to go it alone, here are a few pointers to remember.
Before you leave, make sure your pet is healthy. Get a quick vet check done and make sure all vaccinations are up to date as well as flea and tick medication. You never know what you are going to encounter at your destination so best be prepared.
Make sure you have all the essential supplies for the trip easily accessible. These will include a leash and collar for a dog, water and a dish, some food and a dish and treats. Make sure your pet has a collar on where possible that has your contact information on and keep a recent picture of them handy in case they get loose. Supplies for clearing up any mess made on stops is important and any medication they may need should be easy to reach.
If you are staying in a hotel at your destination, you will need a pet carrier or crate, as most hotels won’t allow pets unless there is one. Even if they don’t travel with it, keep it near so they become used to it.
When you are on rest stops, never leave your pet unattended in the car and never close all of the windows as modern cars are designed to be virtually airtight. Also, think about where you put them during the trip in relation to where the heat will come from.
Travelling by air
The first thing to do if you want to travel by air with your pet is to check the rules and regulations of the airline you will be travelling with. They should inform you of their policies and how your pet will be transported. Most of the time, it will either be with you if they are small enough to fit under your seat or in the cargo hold. While this sounds a little frightening, airlines are used to transporting animals and have special areas for them with pressurisation and suitable conditions.
Most airlines stipulate that an animal must be fully weaned and at least eight weeks old to travel by air. It is recommended to book non-stop flights to avoid over-stressing them and to travel at the coolest part of the day in summer or the warmest part in the winter.
You will need an Airline Veterinary Health Certificate to fly with most airlines and they will need to check-up in the 7-10 days before you depart. Most vets advice against sedating an animal because the effects when they wake can be variable.
You will also need to have the correct size crate for transportation under the IATA regulations. They need to be study, properly ventilation and one of the seven sizes available. They also need to be accessed without the use of any special tools.
Food and water dished are put inside the crate before you leave empty but accessible from the outside and a supply of extra food can be attached to the exterior depending on the duration of the flight. Crate pet pads are used to deal with waste and the crates are clearly marked with your information in case anything goes wrong during the trip.