Pets have special needs when they travel, so planning ahead is essential. This advice can help you make sure your pet is prepared to travel long distances locally.
Taking your pet on a holiday
Your pet should be wearing a collar with its name and your contact number on it. In Australia we use the microchip system, which is highly effective and recommended. Recently laws have changed and it is illegal to have unchipped animals. If your dog is returned to the rspca or to the local vet, they can scan the microchip and find your contact details. This is really important as your pet may become disorientated or panic and run away or get lost.
In particular if your pet is a kitten or a puppy they won’t have traveled in a car before so its a good idea to get them used to the feeling. To do this take them for short rides. Use this experience to familiarize them with where they sit in the car. If your dog or cat is particularly anxious in the car bring there bed or basket so that they can settle down in there own space in the car.
Some people prefer to use carriers for there pets especially on long drives, put something of your pets inside the carrier to reinforce that traveling is a postive experience. Sometimes using a small treat to get them comfortable in the carrier can be helpful. Don’t feed your pet right before leaving. Feed the night before as this will mean your pets stomach is settled. If you travel with your pet regularly and they have persistent carsickness your vet might prescribe motion sickness medication. To combat motion sickness and travel fatigue in your pet remember to give them frequent stops at parks so they can walk around go to the toilet.
At these stops it is better to walk your pet on a lead as they might be disorientated and run off. If you are intending to take your pet on a long plane journey and know it is very anxious then you may be able to speak to your vet about having a tranquilizer prescribed.
Packing for your pets holiday
Before leaving home you need to pack some practical things like a water dish, feed dish, plastic bags, a lead and your pets favorite blanket or perhaps a favorite toy to make the journey a lot more comfortable. If you pet requires any medication remember to carry this. If your move is permanent you can arrange to get a copy of your pets records from your vet so that you can give these to the vet in your new area.
Search for pet friendly accommodation
If you are going on a long journey use the internet to search for pet friendly hotels or camping along the way. This is also a good reason to have your pets health documentation with you, as campgrounds, hotels or kennels will need to see these before they allow your pet to stay.