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What do you need to know about travelling with pets?

Topic Travel Tips and Tricks

What do you need to know about travelling with pets? - Image

If you've got any variety of animals, from birds to dogs to turtles, at home, you have to put a lot of thought into where the little critters are going to go if you go on a vacation. If it's short enough, some animals can be left around the house, but if it's an extended trip, you might have to call in the reserves. This can mean paying a trusted neighbour to let out and feed the cat or housing the dog in a kennel for a week.

Obviously, these expenses can add up quickly. And that's why some people opt out of leaving their furry friends at home - that, and some individuals just want to make sure their pets have a good time and get some relaxation in. What's a family trip if one of the integral members isn't there? And, if we're talking about service animals, it's a whole different story - these creatures need to come along.

As any jet-setter knows, it can be tough travelling with more than one person, and this is certainly true if pets are part of the equation. There are many tips seasoned adventurers can follow to make this a much easier process, so you and your favourite creature can get to your destination and begin enjoying yourselves.

Buckle them up
There are plenty of rules when it comes to buying an airplane ticket for pets - sometimes they can be carried on, other times they must be stored in a kennel in cargo. It's all up to the airline and it takes some looking into beforehand.

But when they're on the road, it's not uncommon to see a dog's head hanging out the window, but is this pooch buckled up? For long road trips, they should be. Smaller animals, like little dogs, cats or other critters, should be in a container - whether it's a turtle in a mobile terrarium or a cat in a portable kennel. This can not only keep them safe, but you as well. As The Huffington Post reported, AAA found that about 30,000 car accidents are caused because of unrestrained dogs in the front seat.

Check with your hotel

When you decide to travel with a pet, you might get bogged down in the details of actually getting there. Again, there are a lot of things to consider if you're flying with the animal - do you need to use a specialty airline, how many bathroom breaks will you need to make if you're driving and so on. The accommodations might take a backseat, but that would be a mistake.

Many hotels don't allow furry friends to come along, but there are some that either fully allow them to roam the grounds or have special animal-approved rooms. The Gaston Gazette recommended calling the hotel or resort beforehand to make sure everything's all set before you leave.

Consider your mode of transportation
Even if you can bring your pet on board an airplane for an exciting new adventure, that doesn't mean you should. You've really got to do your homework when it comes to seeing whether pets can fly - but the flight itself might actually be detrimental to the critter.

The Huffington Post reported that if a pet is especially young, old or sick, travelling by air probably isn't going to be a good idea. As with humans, it might be a worthwhile plan to check with the animal's doctor before embarking. On top of those factors, there will be considerations depending on the breed of animal - for instance, the source noted that dogs with breathing issues, like pugs, shouldn't travel in the cargo hold, so special plans might need to be made.

Bring something familiar
Another thing to think about is that the animal is probably going to be confused - he or she won't understand that it's just a trip and adapt to the new surroundings as easily as their owners. This can cause the pet to become skittish, disoriented or even sick.

As such, The Huffington Post suggested you bring along something to make your pet comfortable - this can be anything from its favourite blanket to a beloved squeaky toy. A comfort from home might make all the difference and make the animal more relaxed with its surroundings.