Traveling with Pets 

A dog creates, transcribes, a new landscape for you…
— Rick Bass, Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had

Sometimes it’s necessary to travel with our pets. Whether it’s a long-term business trip or just wanting to have them around while on vacation, pets are a big part of our lives and we sometimes need to bring them along on trips. If you’re finding yourself in this situation it’s important to cover all your bases before stepping into the airport to ensure that your trip is as stress free for you and your pet as possible. 

Make sure your pet is vaccinated and licensed.
It’s always important to make sure your pet is up to date with their vaccinations but it’s even more important when traveling. Your pet is about to encounter new places and elements they aren’t normally exposed to during your travels and this brings the potential for them to pick up a disease or illness. Protect your pet and make sure they are vaccinated before you travel. It’s also wise to bring copies of their latest vaccinations with you as you may have to show proof at some point during your trip. Also, don’t forget to take your pets license with you! You may have to show this as well. 

Investigate the pet rules of your destination.
This is crucial when traveling abroad with your pet. Some countries have strict rules and regulations regarding pets entering and exiting the country. Make sure you have your bases covered so you won’t have to worry about your pet getting stuck in a foreign country. If it turns out that there are too many rules and the risk is too great, it might make more sense to board your pet at home. 

Get the proper equipment.
If you’re flying with your pet, make sure that you have a crate that’s in compliance with the airlines safety standards. Some airlines will require that you purchase an additional ticket if your pet will not fit in a crate under the seat, so it’s wise to check these rules before you purchase your own ticket. If you’re traveling in the car or by bus or train, consider investing in a seat belt harness which will prevent your pet from jumping around while keeping your pet safe in the event of an accident. 

Book pet friendly hotels in advance.
Booking a hotel in advance is always advisable but it’s even more imperative when traveling with pets. Typically, “pet friendly” is more of a luxury than a necessity and many hotels and rental homes have strict no pet policies. Make sure you’re booking your stay in advance, so you don’t risk getting fined for violating a no pet policy or being stranded without a place to stay. 

Get a pet sitter.
Pets are like children and for many it can be comforting to have them close, even when traveling. However, sometimes it makes more sense to get a pet sitter while you are traveling, and this might be the most stress-free option for both you and your pet. A trusted friend or family member might be the best place for your pet while you’re away, or there are countless boarding facilities that look more like “pet spas” where your pet will be given the care it needs while you’re away. You could also opt for an in-house pet sitter that will visit your house as many times a day as needed to ensure that your pet is getting the proper care it needs from the comfort of your own home. 

Simon Hailwood