Can I Take My Pet On Vacation With Me?
Published on: November 26, 2015 | Author: Starwood Animal Transport
Pets are an important part of our lives. According to the ASCPA, somewhere between 37%-47% of American households have a dog, and 30%-37% have a cat. That’s millions of pets. As pets have become an integral part of the family rather than simply working animals whose role is to eliminate rodents or protect and herd livestock, it’s only natural we want to take our pets on vacation with us. Why leave part of the family home when you’re taking a family vacation?
Consider your pet’s preferences.
Your cat may enjoy your vacation more if you leave her behind. Most cats prefer consistency and familiarity with their surroundings. Change can make then nervous or resentful. Dogs on the other hand, are all about adventure. And they’re definitely all about you. Taking a vacation with you is nothing more than an extended ride in the car, right? But if your vacation involves flying to your destination, things will be more complicated.
Of course if your pet – dog or cat – has age-related issues or a chronic health condition, traveling with you on vacation may not be a great idea. Talk to your vet about this, because each animal is different.
Consider your pet’s safety.
If you’re traveling in the car, your pooch or feline is precious cargo. Make sure they have a carrier that is roomy, and secure it on the seat or in the back of your car. Or use a barrier or seat-belt type harness for your dog. If you’re traveling by air, you’ll need an airline-approved kennel that meets strict safety guidelines.
Where are you headed? Your pet may need extra protection against ticks, fleas or diseases such as leptospirosis. If you’re going to another state, you should carry a copy of your pet’s rabies certificate and a USDA health certificate signed by your vet. If you’re going out of the country on vacation, you will need considerably more health-related documentation – exactly what will depend on the specific country.
Consider the length of your trip
If your vacation is a short one, perhaps it would be easier on your pet to simply leave her home. Conversely, if your itinerary involves complex flight arrangements, ask yourself whether the added stress of getting there and back will be worth it for both of you.
Consider your time commitment
If you’re vacationing to visit friends, spend long days sight-seeing or skiing, will you have enough time to devote one-on-one to your furry companion? Taking your pet just to ignore him once you arrive will hurt his feelings. If he’s bored, he could act out in ways no one will appreciate. He may even worry that you plan to abandon him. That’s no vacation in his eyes.
Consider your destination
If you plan to stay with family or friends, or spend considerable time with them, do they have pets of their own? How will their animals respond to your dog or cat? How will your own pup or kitty react to being the stranger in their home?
If you’re going from a quiet neighborhood to a busy, noisy urban setting or other potentially frightening environment, will your pet be able to handle the change without becoming overly anxious? Is the weather likely to be significantly hotter or colder than what your dog or cat is used to? Taking your beloved rescue greyhound on a ski trip is great if she can spend the days in front of a fire, but if you expect her to play in the snow she’ll be too cold to have fun.
Make their vacation more comfortable, with a touch of home.
The best way to keep your pet relaxed and confident on your vacation is to take along their own belongings. When they have their own bedding, dish, food, toys and treats, they’ll know you’re on vacation together. And isn’t that what you had in mind in the first place?
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