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Top 7 Must Have Items For Your Pet on a Vacation

Published on: November 8, 2016  |  Author: Starwood Animal Transport

The top 7 must have items for your pet on a vacationDeciding what to take on your vacation can be a tough decision. Add in your pet, and you have more to think about. What you should take along for pet travel depends on where you’re going. And your mode of transportation. Nonetheless, there are certain universal must-haves. Here are seven.

1. Things that make them feel at home

Pets away from home can feel anxious. So in addition to taking along portable food and water dishes, bring your guy’s own bedding and some favorite toys.

2. A supply of their usual food

Take enough to last your entire trip, unless you can buy the same brand along the way. Take a few snacks for your pup or kitty, if he will be riding with you onboard a plane. You’ll want a bottle of water, too – wait till you pass security to fill it. If your pet is traveling as air cargo, you’ll want to feed him two to four hours ahead of his departure. Pack some of his favorite food or treats to reward him for a “job well done” once you arrive at your final destination.   

A special note about snacks: if your pet travel is international, be aware that countries have rules about importing meat products. Be sure your pet’s snacks comply, so you don’t have to hand them over at customs.

3. Identification

Make sure the ID tags on your pet’s collar are up to date with your correct contact information. Consider having another temporary tag made that shows contact information where you will be vacationing. All pets traveling internationally must be microchipped. This can boost your peace of mind wherever you pet travel takes you, even around home. Things happen, and you would be devastated to lose your beloved kitty or pup.

4. Paperwork

When pet travel involves only a short trip, we don’t think about documentation. But if you’re going on vacation across the country – or out of the country – you’ll need very specific paperwork. In the US, some states require you to carry a copy of your pet’s rabies certificate. You’ll probably never have to show it at a border, but carry a copy anyway, just in case. 

If you’re traveling by car from the US to Canada or Mexico, you pet will need his own “passport” -- a series of documents certifying his health status. If you’re traveling by car from the UK to Europe, your pet will need their official EU Pet Passport. This is an all-on-one document that contains your pet’s complete identification and health information.

If you’re traveling to any foreign country by air, your pet will need similar paperwork. Each country has different rules about which documents you’ll need. Learning exactly what is required should be one of your first trip planning activities. Your vet can help. So can your international pet transport company, if you plan to vacation overseas.

We have the international pet travel documents and requirements listed, to ease your travel.

5. A carrier

Experts advise that pets traveling in a car should ride in a carrier. This is for your driving safety as well as their own safety. Cats generally feel more comfortable in a carrier anyway, but your dog may not like the confinement if he isn’t used to it. You can also try using a dog seat belt. Whether you’ll be staying in pet-friendly hotels or with friends, a carrier that confines your pet is considered good manners. Read our article on the  best tips to keep your pet comfortable in their travel carrier

If you are traveling by air, an airline-approved carrier is mandatory. On-board carriers can be soft- or hard-sided, as long as they fit the under-seat dimensions for the plane you will travel on. Ask, as all airlines are different. For cargo travel, your pet will need a kennel that meets requirements of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). You can purchase an approved carrier from your pet transport company, most airlines, at pet stores or online. Do not fudge on the type of carrier you choose, or its size – airlines and professional pet shippers won’t accept pets in improper carriers.

6. Medications

If your pet regularly takes medications, be sure you have an ample supply for your entire trip. If you’re worried about possible carsickness, talk to your veterinarian about soothing options. Pets traveling by air should not be sedated for their trip, as this can be more dangerous and upsetting for them.

7. Little extras

Some must-haves are weather and activity related. Will your pet need a raincoat for drizzly walks or warm boots for fun in the snow? A life vest for kayaking or boating? Will you need a towel for cleaning muddy paws?

With these must-haves and a pet-friendly itinerary, you and your dog or cat are sure to have a tail-wagging vacation. Bon voyage!

It is best to relocate to another country with your pet when travel is most pet friendly. We know what time of year is the best for moving your pet.
Flying with your pet