Sometimes you really need a vacation. You have been working hard for months and you have had about all you can take of responsibility. But what about your pets? They are a responsibility you can’t set aside.
The idea of sending your pets to kennels or catteries may distress you, especially when you consider how much they would enjoy sharing a vacation with you. Traveling with pets sounds difficult, but it is manageable, if you know what you’re doing.
Most major airlines have written guidelines on transporting pets. Read these carefully and make sure you know what you are doing before any air journey begins. Smaller pets can often be taken on board the plane as hand luggage, though you will need to keep them inside crates.
Larger pets will need to travel in the baggage area. Because this area does not enjoy the same insulation as the cabin, you should travel in the middle of the day during the winter (or at night during the summer) to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. Don’t give them food in case they get travel sick, but do give them blankets and toys to play with. Find a direct flight to your destination because you won’t easily be able to change flights with your pets. And you will want to arrive early for your flight in case of complications.
Car travel with pets might seem simpler, but is prone to problems of its own. Travel sickness is common in cats and dogs. Ask your vet for advice on how to treat this. What a good vet will not do, however, is agree to sedate your pets during travel, as this can be harmful. This means that you’ll have to find ways of keeping them calm so that they don’t distract the driver. Make sure your pets are not in a position to physically interact with the driver; with particularly active pets, this may mean you need to seal off the rear of the car with mesh.
Show your pets lots of affection after each leg of the journey. If they become particularly stressed, pull over and give them the chance to move around a bit. Given this treatment, many pets learn to travel very well without causing difficulties.
Once you reach your destination, you’ll need somewhere for your pets to stay. Don’t just assume that this will be okay with your accommodation provider — always check ahead of time. If you’re having trouble finding an understanding hotel or guest house in the area you want to visit, check out the local self catering accommodation, as this is often pet-friendly.
Traveling with pets isn’t easy, but with careful planning and preparation it’s quite possible to do it successfully. When you are running along a beautiful beach at sunset with your pet by your side, you’ll feel that it was well worth the effort.
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