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Christmas season is coming, and this means it’s time for a holiday getaway! Of course, as cherished parts of the family, your four-legged friends will also join in the fun. So if you’re thinking of travelling with pets, planning is essential. Here are things to consider when taking your pets with you on vacation.

Tips For Travelling With Pets

Before The Trip

Prepare your Itinerary

Being spontaneous does not work when travelling with pets. Having an itinerary and organising the trip around your dog’s or cat’s needs is best.

Choose a pet-friendly accommodation and call the establishment ahead to inform them that you’re bringing a pet. Include local spots and restaurants where you can take your pets in with you. If you plan to go to a place in your destination where pets aren’t allowed, search for a pet boarding facility or arrange a pet-sitting service so you can leave them for a few hours.

Call the local pet agencies in your holiday destination to find out if there are laws or special restrictions that you need to follow before embarking on your trip.

Visit the Vet

Arrange a visit to the veterinarian for a general health check. Your pet must be up to date with their treatments and have the necessary vaccines. Now is also the best time to have them microchipped, if you’ve still not had this done.  Ask the vet if they can recommend a local animal hospital or a vet in your holiday area. While you’re at the vet, consider speaking to them about pet insurance options.

Teach Basic Commands

‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, ‘Come’ are some of the command words you can teach your dog. The last thing you’d want when travelling with pets is spending your holiday, chasing them around and constantly scolding them because they are unruly. It’s stressful and may cause potential danger to you, your pet and other people.

Start training them weeks or even months before the trip as they won’t master them all in one day. Give rewards when they follow your command, to encourage them to learn more.

Make a List of Pet Essentials

Prepare a checklist of everything that your pet will need throughout the entire holiday. Have a separate bag; don’t mix your pet’s items with yours. Go through your itinerary and make a list of what they need based on your destination, occasion, weather forecast and other factors.

Some examples of items are:

  • Medications
  • Insurance information
  • ID tags
  • Permits
  • Food/water bowl,
  • Leash and collar
  • Bed
  • Bath essentials
  • Dog waste bags
  • Dog food/treats
  • Toys (their favourites)

During The Holiday

Focus on Safety While Travelling With Pets

Crates and dog harnesses are a safe and effective way to restrict your pet’s movements while travelling. It also prevents your pet from distracting the driver or other people (if you’re in public transportation). If they’re not well-versed in being crated or harnessed, take them for short journeys prior to the trip as a practice run.

Keep them Calm and Feeling Good

Keep them hydrated during the trip. Avoid feeding near to the time of travel to avoid any potential vomiting situation.

If it’s a long drive, preferably stop every two hours so they can stretch their legs and take necessary toilet breaks. Keep medication or remedies in the car if your dog or cat suffers from motion sickness.

Familiarise them with the Surroundings

Once you arrive at your destination, help them settle by taking them out for a walk to experience the new surroundings. Avoid leaving them alone for too long as this can make them feel confused and anxious, causing them to destroy furniture.

Enjoy The Holiday and Travelling With Pets

Having your fur baby around while taking time off is always an excellent bonding experience. With proper planning and enough preparation, it can be a bump-free ride and a vacation full of happy memories.

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