A dog in front of his cage

How to travel worry-free with your pet

Whether you are planning a road trip to see family, are driving to the cottage or are flying south for a family vacation, choosing to bring your furry family member along will have an impact on your travel plans.

Travelling with pets has its own unique considerations. By planning ahead and understanding the rules and regulations regarding travel with pets across borders and on airplanes, you can reduce the chances of experiencing travel-related issues.

Tips for driving with your pet

Many people drive around town with their dog (and sometimes cat) every day; however, longer trips require more planning. Depending on the size of your pet and the size and layout of your vehicle, it is usually a good idea to crate your pet during a long trip. This will reduce the odds of your pet being a driving distraction.

Here are some tips for making your road trip with your pet successful:

  • Consider your pet when you plan stops. When you stop, let your pet out of its crate for some fresh air and exercise.
  • Pets are prone to motion sickness. Avoid feeding them too much before departing for your trip, and feed it during travel breaks instead.
  • Never leave your pet alone in your vehicle, especially if it’s too warm or too cold outside.
  • To keep your pet calm and give it a sense of comfort, bring along its favourite toys, a bone or a blanket.
  • If you will be crossing the border into another country, make sure your pet has the necessary vaccinations, and bring your veterinary records and paperwork with you.

Tips for flying with your pet

Flying with your pet also requires some planning. Here are some tips to ensure you can fly with your pet worry-free:

  • Most airlines require that you register your pet when you purchase your airfare, and there may be a fee.
  • Check whether your airline has any breed restrictions.
  • Check with your airline about their rules for flying with pets. Some airlines only allow dogs and cats.
  • If you will be flying to another country, make sure your pet has the necessary vaccinations, and bring your veterinary records and paperwork with you.
  • Tire out your pet before you leave for the airport.
  • Limit your pet’s food consumption before the flight. Make sure it has access to water to stay hydrated.
  • Consider crating your pet to make it easier to travel through the airport and board the plane
  • Depending on your pet’s demeanour, you may consider giving it a sedative medication (check with your veterinarian about what is safe to give).

Depending on the nature of your trip, you may also have to factor in hotel stays (not all hotels allow pets) and specific rules and regulations regarding allowing pets into the country you will be travelling to (such as quarantine requirements).

Travelling soon? Don’t forget to buy travel insurance so you can travel worry-free.