Taking a pet on holiday often requires as much planning as sorting out the holiday itself. As well as ensuring your pet’s passport is up to date you’ll need to check if it will be allowed into the country you want to visit, what vaccinations it will require and if you can arrange appropriate transport. You’ll also need to book suitable accommodation; take any special equipment you might need and pack anything else your pet might require.
Often, we get consumed in everything to do with an up and coming holiday or move abroad. Naturally, we get excited about the new prospects and the enjoyment waiting on the other side of a long plane journey. However, if you travel with your pet, you must remember what their needs are as well. This article has been created to give you an inside tip on ensuring your pet’s welfare before travelling.
Is your pet ready for travel?
Not all animals cope well with change, meaning some would be better off staying at home.
Also, remember that no matter how well-planned your trip, some stresses will be out of your control. No one enjoys a flight delay, but the wait could prove even more difficult for your pet.
To help decide if travelling with your pet is the right thing to do, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are they fit and healthy?
- How do they react to new environments?
- Will you have the time to care for them while travelling?
- Have you tested them on shorter journeys?
Things to consider before you go
Before you decide to take your pet on holiday with you, it’s worth checking if this will be possible. For example, will they be allowed into the country you want to visit and if you plan to go with a travel company will they let you take your pet with you?
A number of airlines will let certain pets fly in the hold. If you’re taking a ship, you will need to check with the company and of course, you’ll also need to find out if you can have a pet with you where you’re staying.
How comfortable will your pet be?
You also need to consider how comfortable your pet will be in transit and when you arrive at your destination. The PBS Pet Travel website has lots of information on travelling with your dog on various modes of transport include planes and ferries and how to treat dog travel sickness.
Many animals find a change in routine, their environment and travelling stressful, says the RSPCA. It suggests you think carefully before taking a pet on holiday and if you decide to go ahead, it has factsheets on transporting your pet safely and other things to think about.
Your pet’s health
It’s always a good idea to take your pet to the vet at least three weeks before you travel to make sure its vaccinations and passport are all up to date and if there are any preventative medicines your pet should take before you set off on your trip.
Depending on where you’re going, there may be specific health risks your pet may be exposed to. You may also need to talk to your vet about any preventative treatment required to protect your pet against ticks, sandflies, heartworm and tapeworm whilst abroad.
The Animal Welfare Foundation has published a leaflet with details of the more common diseases your pet may encounter abroad and how to avoid or treat these.
Today more and more airlines are making arrangements for passengers to take pets, especially dogs and cats on board. With a greater ability to travel abroad, going away with your pets couldn’t be easier. So why not take this big step and enjoy your trip abroad with your beloved four legged friends.