Travel Prep for Pets: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

By Health Providers Choice

May 29, 2019

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: How to Prep Your Pet for Travel

This article provided by: Health Providers Choice

Travel Prep for Pets is important for not only you as a traveler but also for your pets. Make sure that you have everything your pets needs. This will reduce not only your stress but also your pet’s stress. A happy pet is a happy pet owner.


Traveling with a pet is easier than you think when you plan ahead.

travel prep for pets
Photo by Ariana Prestes on Unsplash

You’re headed to a new nursing assignment halfway across the country. Fido is coming too! You’re excited to have your furry friend with you, but the prospect of traveling with them is making you nervous. How can you be sure they’ll make it safely? Are you planning their accommodations properly? What aren’t you remembering? It’s all very nerve wracking. But it doesn’t have to be. Traveling with your pet is easier than you think when you plan ahead.

Planning ahead is key:

When you’re working on getting yourself ready to travel to an assignment, it can be easy to forget simple things your pet needs to travel safely. When prepping your pet for travel, always make checklists and verify you have everything in advance, so the trip itself goes smoothly.

Mode of Transportation: Travel Prep for Pets

Consider your mode of transportation when you are doing prep for travel with your pets. First, you’ll want to check on the rules regarding pets for the mode of travel you’re taking.

Are you flying? Check the airline’s requirements for safe pet travel, including what type of carrier is necessary and whether your pet will need to ride cargo or can travel with you in the cabin. Make sure you purchase pet fares, too.

If you’re driving look into car carriers or harnesses. Cats will be more comfortable in a hard-shell carrier, whereas dogs might appreciate more freedom to sit in the seat while safely harnessed in.

Discuss your travel plans with your pet’s veterinarian. If your cat or dog has anxiety, they may be able to recommend medications to keep your pet calm. Your vet should also provide a certificate of health to prove that it’s safe for your pet to travel.

When packing for your pet, make sure you don’t forget:

  • food and water bowls
  • extra food
  • treats
  • a few comfort items, like your pet’s favorite toy or a T-shirt that carries your scent.


Travel Prep For Pets: TIPS

Using a Pet Carrier

Unfortunately, even if you are ready for the trip, your pet might not be completely comfortable with travel. Work with your pet in the weeks leading up to your trip to get them used to their carrier.

When you purchase a carrier, leave it open around the home and encourage your pet to investigate and spend time inside. The more contact your pet has with the carrier, the more comfortable they will be on the road or flight. Reward your pet with treats after positive experiences with the carrier to build a positive connection.

Prepare for the Drive

If you’re driving, take your pet for “test drives” around town to get them used to the feeling of being in the car. Spraying the carrier with pheromone spray or putting comfort items like blankets, beds, and your clothing in the carrier can also help your pet relax when the time comes to load up. These tips will help reduce your pet’s anxiety so they understand that travel is not something to be afraid of.

Don’t stress

When the time for your trip rolls around, it can be easy to fret about forgetting something or fear something bad happening to your pet. It’s very important to remain calm and display that relaxation to your pet.

Pets often take signals from their owners, so a stressed pet parent can quickly result in a stressed dog or cat. Stay reassuring and calm so your pet knows it is safe. Your pet needs you as much as you need them, and you’ll make the journey just fine together.

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