When you say you’re traveling with kids, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re bringing little humans; Kids may refer to your furry, four-legged babies.
1. Check first if you can bring your pet to your destination
Sadly, many destinations don’t make the entrance for pets easy-peasy. There are places, like Hawaii, with a quarantine period for cats and dogs of up to 120 days to prevent rabies. Pets who meet specific pre-arrival requirements can qualify for the quarantine of fewer than five days.
2. Secure a health certificate
If you’re flying with your pet, the first document to prepare is the health certificate, usually issued within 10 days of your flight. That’s another reason for visiting the vet. If you’re out exploring and your pet suddenly bites someone, the first thing you’ll need is a documentation, stating that your pet has had rabies and other vaccinations.
3. Consult your vet first
Humans aren’t the only ones who feel the stress of air travel – animals too.
Next to getting a health certificate, it’s a must to visit the vet for a quick consultation. Many pets aren’t suited for air travel due to certain factors, like age, health, and breed. For instance, short-nosed dogs like bulldogs and Boston terriers with restricted breathing are considered at risk when flying. Animals under 8 – 12 weeks, or over 10 years might not be physically capable of flying.
4. Familiarize yourself with the airline policies
Most airlines cater to pets as long as you observe their policies. If you’re flying for the first time, you may be sad to learn that there’s a chance for your pet to not join you inside the cabin. If your pet is small enough, the airline may permit you to bring him/her into the cabin, which is safer than letting him/her fly in the cargo hold.
There are three ways: in-cabin, checked baggage, and manifest cargo.
- Checked baggage (in-cabin)
The pet can fly with an adult passenger and stay with the owner in the cabin as long as the pet is inside an airline compliant carrier tucked under the seat.
- Checked baggage (cargo)
Pets that aren’t allowed in the cabin can be transported as a checked baggage in the cargo hold. There should be a crate for your pet. After being inside a cargo hold with no bathroom for a long flight, your pet needs to be taken out as close to flight time as possible.
- Manifest cargo
This option is for unaccompanied or very large pets.
For passengers with special needs, pets considered as “service and emotional support animals” can stay with their owner in the cabin.
5. Never travel without a pet crate
A crate should be a top priority if you’re planning to travel with your pet. Firstly, it should be sturdy and perfectly sized for your pet. A crate that is too small can be extremely uncomfortable; if it’s too big, your pet might be tossed around during the handling. Secondly, know the airline’s requirements with regards to crate size, weight, design, and material. Lastly, your pet must be crate-trained prior to traveling.
6. Give your pet an ID
We can barely imagine losing your precious pet on the road. That being the case, it’s a must to put a tag on your pet’s collar. The tag should include your pet’s name, your name, your address and contact details, local contact numbers, and rabies vaccination information.
7. Make sure the hotel is pet-friendly
The hotel you’re staying in should love your pooch and feline as much as you do. Pay attention to their policies.
- Keep your pet clean. It’s not the responsibility of the hotel staff to clean after your pet’s dirt. If your pet stains in the linens and carpet, you might have to pay for the replacement or cleaning costs. Use a crate for your pet, so hotel employees, neighbors, and other people can be at ease.
- Hang the do not disturb sign. If you have to leave your pet in your room, leave the sign. In this way, the hotel staff who will be cleaning your room wouldn’t be startled.
- Respect off-limit places. Just because your pet can stay doesn’t mean he/she can roam around wherever he/she pleases. Ask the hotel management for approved areas for pets. Walk your pet and never leave it unattended.
If you’re having a difficulty finding pet-friendly hotels, you can check out sites like Airbnb, and consider a vacation rental. Most owners welcome pets with open arms.
8. Never ever leave your pet unattended, especially in the car
You wouldn’t leave a baby alone inside the car while you go out for groceries, would you? Same goes for your pet. Even when the temperatures are mild and when the windows are partially opened, a car can get dangerously hot or cold, putting your gentle four-legged baby at risk.
9. Think about your pet’s wellbeing
Traveling via car? Like us, pets experience carsickness too. Manage it by partially opening windows and going out of the car every once in a while for a walk. Provide adequate food and water as well, for the stress of traveling, heat of the vehicle, and the overall excitement of your pet can lead to increased thirst.
Whether you’re traveling via car, aircraft, ship, waiting for boarding in the airport, or you’re resting in a hotel, make sure you spend the time to walk your pet to relieve them from travel-induced stress.
10. Get ready for the costs
Bringing your fluffy companions to your amazing adventures is probably the best experience ever. But you can’t also deny the additional costs that come with them. Airfare and hotel surcharges, crates and carriers, extra food, unexpected vet bills away from home – these are just some of the expenses to keep in mind and prepare for.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Holiday Inn Parramatta Accommodation, a modern hotel in Western Sydney known for their exceptional accommodation, service, and location, which appeals to travelers in Australia. She has always been passionate about giving in to her wanderlust and collecting mementos from different places.