Pets are members of the family, and it is natural to bring them along on vacation. Whether it is a road trip or an airplane flight, the process can cause dogs and cats to become stressed. The following tips will help both pets and humans to properly prepare for and enjoy a holiday away.
Visit the Vet
Before embarking on a trip, pets should be seen by a veterinarian to ensure they are in good health and to update vaccinations. If an animal suffers from anxiety, the vet can prescribe mild sedation to make the journey more pleasant. Stock up on parasite prevention if the destination is in a hot, humid climate where there are many pests. Having a copy of health records is essential in case of an emergency, and this should be kept in a safe place.
Get a Safe Crate or Carrier
Pets should be restrained at all times when traveling in a vehicle. This is for both their safety and that of the driver and other passengers. Dogs love to hang their heads out of the window, which is extremely dangerous. Cats may bolt out the door if they become scared by unfamiliar noises. A crate or carrier, which should be large enough for the pet to stand up, turn around and lie down in, will prevent these mishaps. In addition, a crate or carrier is required for a pet to board an airplane.
Go for Test Drives
Even if the trip will be taken by plane, it is a good idea to acclimate an animal to travel by taking them for rides in the car. This gives pets an opportunity to adjust to noise and motion and realize they have nothing to fear, especially if they can see you.
Pack Toys, Sweaters and Blankets
Animals tend to be less stressed if they have familiar items around them. This can be a favorite blanket or small bed, toys and sweaters, if needed. Anything with a scent the pet can recognize will have an instant calming effect. Owners can play with their pets along the way, keeping to a similar routine from home.
Be Careful with Food and Water
Travel exposes pets to a great deal of change, making diet very important. Feed dogs and cats their usual foods and bring along water from home. Even a slight difference in the local water could cause digestive upset. The holiday destination could also have plants that pets are not familiar with, and they should be watched carefully to ensure they do not eat anything that could be dangerous, such as lilies, azaleas and mushrooms.
Going on vacation with pets does not have to be tiresome and stressful. With a little planning and preparation, both humans and animals can enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
Author Bio: Paige Jirsa– I work with Top10.Today, a shopping comparison site, where we strive to help consumers find the best quality and priced products.