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Pets and traveling: What to consider

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It does not matter if the trip is long or short, abroad or near the city - there always is a way to take your pet with you.

Some people love their pets so much that, sometimes, it even seems that they simply cannot live without them! But what do they do when planning a holiday or even a short trip?

When owners of dogs or cats go on vacation, they usually leave their pets in the care of friends, neighbors or relatives. However, some take their four-legged friend with them.

It does not matter if the trip is long or short, abroad or near the city - there always is a way to take your pet with you! In this case, the dog or cat will not be bored at home waiting for the owners, and the owners, in turn, will not worry about them, but will enjoy the trip even more! After all, pets make all family pictures a little more joyful.The main thing is to properly prepare and take into account all the details so that nothing interferes with the trip.

The first thing you should pay attention to is your pet's experience with traveling. Is your four-legged friend afraid of strangers or noisy places? How does he react to new living conditions? Can he stay away from you for a long time (for example, during a flight)? When in doubt, ask your veterinarian, he will tell you exactly what to do. Another option is taking a DNA test, in order to find out more about the health predispositions of your pets (which is especially important if you travel by plane). Here is an awesome website which provides quality cat DNA tests.

The second important step is finding out whether the pet can come with you everywhere while you travel. Some homeowners do not allow pets on the premises. The same thing can happen with hotels and other places of temporary accommodation. Make sure you book a place that is friendly to cats, dogs, and other pets, with all the shortcomings in the form of noise, smells, etc.

You should also pay attention to the climatic conditions of the place where you are going. Who knows, sometimes it happens that a different climate can be quite extreme for your pet.

If you decide to take your pet with you, be sure to take into account the timing and distance of the trip, the state of health of the animal and its age. Not all pets tolerate trips well, especially weakened dogs and cats, or elderly ones. Many animals do not respond well to change - they are more comfortable at home, in a calm and familiar atmosphere, provided that someone will feed and take care of them.

How to prepare for your trip
Preparation includes several stages. It is necessary to study the requirements and rules of the transport companies that you are going to use. Prepare also a veterinary passport with all the necessary information on vaccinations, treatments for helminths, ticks, fleas, etc. This must be done no later than five days before the date of departure.

Prepare a veterinary first aid kit. It should include remedies for diarrhea, intoxication, antipyretics, anti-inflammatory drugs, bandages, cotton wool, hydrogen peroxide, a thermometer, absorbents, as well as drugs that you use when treating a pet with chronic diseases.

Buy a carrier. The item should be with a rigid base, but at the same time with a soft coating on the lower part. Start training your pet to be carried 6-7 days before travel. To do this, place the bedding on which the pet is accustomed to rest inside the carrier. Then, put a treat in the carrier. As soon as the pet shows interest in a new place, give them the opportunity to get comfortable with it. While your cat or dog is inside the carrier, feed them treats. Increase the amount of time they spend in their new carrier every day, until your pet gets used to it. Then, you can try to take the carrier outside. If everything is done correctly, the cat or dog will perceive the carrier as a cozy house, which is the end goal.

For medium dogs, you might need a muzzle, a harness and a short leash. It is important to remember that some airlines allow pets weighing up to 8 kilograms to be taken into the aircraft cabin, accompanied by an adult passenger. Larger pets will have to be placed in a special carrier and handed over to the luggage compartment. Therefore, you need to find out more about the conditions for the flight before you get to the airport.

Remember - never feed your pet on the plane! The last meal should be 5-7 hours before departure.

Get a pet ID
Pets don't have pockets, so you'll have to deal with tags and microchips. For example, the tag should contain at least the name of your pet and your mobile phone number (with an international prefix, of course).

You probably also know about microchipping: it is a small chip implanted under your pet's skin. Since it contains your pet's ID number, it's not at all difficult to scan it and see who it belongs to. Chipped dogs are twice as likely to be returned to their owners. Cats - ten times more often! As long as your contact information in the chip database is up-to-date, everything will be fine and there will be no reason to worry.

It is also worth considering that you must adhere to the meal traditions that you set at home. When you get to your destination, use the pet food you brought with you and feed them at the same time. That is, do not make drastic changes in the life of a pet when the surroundings change.

Additional things to consider:

  • A day before the trip, it is better to put the pet on a diet, reducing the usual portion of food by about half.
  • The pet must have access to water. It is convenient to use special road drinkers for this.
  • If you are traveling with a large dog, it is important to choose a muzzle that is large enough for their snout.
  • To make your pet react more calmly to traveling in public transport, travel by bus and tram more often before the trip.
  • After the trip, keep an eye on your pet. If he refuses to eat, behaves restlessly or in some unusual way, you need to contact your veterinarian. He may prescribe mild sedatives.

In any case, those who decide to take their pet with them on a trip will definitely note the pros of such a decision. The only cons one might experience are some additional expenses, the extra care, and the situations when the pet can quickly get tired or not tolerate the trip well.

All in all, before going on vacation, keep in mind that most pets do not go through the separation from their owners very easily. They might begin to break stuff, bark and meow for no reason, refuse to eat, and use the wrong places as toilets. There is also no exact time during which an animal can remain alone. Some pets feel good for three days, others start to get stressed out after a day. That is why we always advise pet owners to take their furry friends with them on any trip, short or long!

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