What to Pack When you Travel with Your Pet
Taking your furry friend on a trip with you? Nothing could be better than a vacation with your best friend by your side. You don’t have to worry about bringing your pet to a kennel or to grandma and grandpa’s house where he’ll surely get more table scraps than at home. Plus, you get to explore a new place with your pet by your side. But do you know what to pack when you travel with your pet? Read through our list of must-have items to be sure you have everything you and your pal need for a relaxing and fun adventure.
- ID Tags
If your pet doesn’t already wear an ID tag, you should definitely be sure to get one for the trip. Traveling can be chaotic and things can happen. Should your pal run off, having a tag with their name and your phone number will save you a lot of trouble searching. To cover all bases, make sure your dog or cat has a microchip just in case they get away without their collar and tags. The microchip can be scanned at animal shelters and the staff will call you up to reunite you and your buddy. Along with identification, you should always carry medical records along with you and your pal. Airlines or hotels may need verification of vaccines before allowing your pet on board or inside, so make sure you travel prepared.
- Calming Sprays and Jackets
Have a nervous traveler on your hands? Pick up a calming spray to help keep those nerves down. Calming sprays contain a mix of oils and waters that relieve stress. When sprayed on a favorite object, such as a blanket or bed, the mixture can help to encourage your pet to lie down calmly. You can even make your own spray, using distilled water, lavender oil, chamomile oil, and sweet marjoram oil mixed into a spray bottle. Calming jackets are another, less messy option. Many animals feel more secure when they are covered with something. The jackets fit snugly and serve as a sort of security blanket for nervous four-legged friends.
Read more about flying with dogs: 6 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe While Flying
If you’re traveling by air, this is mandatory, but it is also recommended that your pet be secured in a carrier during any sort of travel. Be sure to get a comfortable carrier for your pal to ensure their journey is as cozy as it can be. The US Humane Society recommends that the carrier be opaque with a grill door. The door should be secure and each of the four sides should have small openings to let air through. The carrier should be just big enough for your pal to sit and lie down, but not so big they can be tossed around. For the most comfort, make sure your friend’s carrier is stocked with their favorite blanket and lined with some newspaper.
- Harnesses and Leashes
For dog owners, this is particularly important Whether you normally use a leash or harness with your dog or not, it is a good idea to pack one with you. In a new environment, your buddy, no matter how well trained, could run off to sniff out new scents. There also may be more people and even some unfriendly pets or people running around, so it’s best to keep your loved one close and on a leash. If your pet gets aggressive or defensive, consider packing a muzzle that you can use for walks outside, to ensure that your pal won’t harm another animal or a person.
Read more about traveling with pets: Guests with Pets – Travel Pet Etiquette Tips
- Food and Treats
Don’t let your pet try a new and different food just because you’re on vacation and forgot to bring their faves. The last thing you want on your vacation with your best friend is for them to get sick in an unfamiliar environment because the food is different from what they’re used to. Be sure to also pack enough treats for your pal, to reward them for good behavior or to just reward them for being so good and calm on the trip. And if your pet takes a medication with their food (or not with food), don’t forget to pack enough for the whole vacation.
Obviously, you can’t forget your pet’s favorite toys. This is especially important if your pet gets nervous being away from home. Bringing along comforts from home that make him or her happy will be worth it for all the fun they’ll have on the trip. Help make your dog comfortable and feel at home, plus, you can’t skip out on play time just because you’re on vacation.