With the holiday season upon us, many of us will be traveling to enjoy time with friends and relatives. And, many people will be taking their four-legged friends along. As pets aren’t allowed on trains, your options to travel with pets are by car or plane. We’ll discuss how best to care for your pets depending on which way you choose to go.
This is definitely the best option because Whiskers and Prince will be close to you, and you can easily monitor their well-being. Whiskers is much more likely to be stressed out than your dog, but if you can’t leave your cat behind with a cat sitter, click here for some helpful advice. And, here are some useful hints to make the trip more enjoyable for all of you.
Motion Sickness – Pets traveling in a car can experience motion sickness, so avoid feeding a large meal before setting off. Crack a window open a little bit to allow some fresh air to circulate. You may want to put your pets on the front seat next to you because they will feel less motion in the front of your vehicle.
Bathroom Breaks – While Prince may snooze for most of the trip, don’t forget to wake him up for bathroom breaks. If you’ve been stuck in slow traffic for more than a couple of hours, stop and give your pal the opportunity to relieve himself and stretch his legs.
Sedatives – It might be tempting to give your pet a sedative to lessen his stress during a road trip, but it’s really not a good idea as these medications tend to dull the senses. If you think your pet really needs a sedative to stay calm, talk to your vet in advance of your trip.
Flying is definitely more stressful for pets than traveling in a car. If you do decide to travel by air, here are a few things to consider. (For Hawaii and international travel, click here.)
Cargo Travel – While you’re watching a movie and munching on a snack in relative comfort up in your economy seat, Prince will be down below in cargo being subjected to loud noises and temperature fluctuations. Some airlines do allow pets traveling in the main cabin as long as they are small enough to be in a carrier that fits underneath your seat.
The Right Crate – Pets traveling on a plane are generally housed in crates provided by their owners. Pet crates should provide plenty of space for your pet to move around and should also meet certain standards.
Checking on Your Pet – Inform a flight attendant that Prince is in cargo. They will know to check up on him if something unusual occurs, such as a long layover or an unscheduled landing.
If you plan to break up your travel with a stay in a motel or hotel, contact the establishment ahead of time to make sure it is pet-friendly. Prior to your trip, locate the veterinary hospitals in your destination area. If you are traveling in the area of Columbia, South Carolina, and you have a pet emergency, don’t hesitate to bring your pet to CVETS. We want both you and your pet to enjoy the holidays.