If You’re Traveling With Pets, Here’s What You Need To Know

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If you are like many Americans who have pets in their homes, that pet has most likely become an integral part of your family. According to iii.org1, 68% or about 85 million American families have a pet in their home from 2017 to 2018 as reported by the American Pet Products Association. Our furry friends offer so much comfort and love, it’s hard to imagine life before they became a major part of it. Research has shown that having a pet in the home can also contribute to healthy living. Senior living centers have seen an increase in pet acceptance for seniors. 

It’s been observed as seen on aplaceformom.com2, that bonding with a pet for just 15 minutes, can set off chemical chain reactions in the brain, causing a decrease in cortisol and increasing serotonin. Cortisol is the natural chemical in our body that is associated with fight-or-flight mode and serotonin is the natural chemical in our body that is responsible for our feel good moments. They’ve seen a decrease in blood pressure, high heart rates and stress levels. Pets are also huge in fighting depression, which a lot of seniors battle when faced with their mortality.

With such an important role to play in our lives, it’s no wonder we go through great lengths to take care of our fine furry friends. If we can’t take our pets with us on vacation, we’ll find the best boarding houses or babysitters to provide exclusive attention to our family. Many of us spare no expense to make sure our loved ones are well taken care of. If you are like some, you won’t leave on vacation without our pets. Traveling with pets can get very challenging at times, depending on where you’re going, how long you will be traveling and how close your pet can be to you when traveling. In some instances, dogs aren’t allowed in the main cabin and are forced to go below with the luggage. This can be pretty nerve wrecking for the entire family and cause undue stress. Here are some key pieces of information to know if you have aspirations of traveling with your pet.

Make Sure Your Pet Has ID

Making sure your pet has an ID seems like a pretty common sense concept, but you’d be surprised how easily such a step could be forgotten. If you forget to get an ID for your pet, you will experience a lot of heart burn when you get to customs and TSA. If you were forced to check your pet and its crate for placement under the plane, then try to claim your pet when arriving to your destination, you may face complications due to not being able to ID your animal. Heaven forbid they make the mistake like they do with luggage, and while you’re flying to Hawaii, your furry friend is on their way to Maine. You will need to be able to ID your pet when you’re not in the same location, in order to get your pet to the appropriate destination. People handling the animal aren’t going to have the knowledge needed to expedite the process. So make sure your pet does not fly without proper pet ID.

Carry the Correct Paperwork

Airlines will not let your animal on any plane without the appropriate paperwork stating the animal is up to date with all required shots and vaccines. A flight can be a petri dish of germs and potential viruses. Throughout the years, we’ve seen sickness crossover from animal to humans. i.e., bird flu, swine flu, plague transferred by rats, etc. Make sure not only is your dog protected but people are also protected is invaluable to airlines. Not to mention, your animal may be around other animals and similar to elementary school, it’s better if attendees had an increased immunity to certain illnesses. At the end of the day, it’s a great protection for the traveler and its furry companion.

Research Species and Breed Restrictions

Make sure before you get to the airport, there are no breed restrictions. If you own a dog, you may well understand the challenges of just finding an apartment when breed restrictions exist. If you get to the airport and find they will not allow Pit bulls or Great Danes to fly on the plane, you may find yourself in quite the predicament. Arriving at the airport is not the time to find out you can’t fly with your pet due to their breed.

Book and Confirm Your Pet’s Stay Ahead of Time

Make sure your hotel accommodations will allow for your furry friend to stay there. There are many hotels that allow pets for a pet fee. However, there are even more that do not allow pets. It would be quite unfortunate to arrive on your dream vacation, in your dream hotel, to find out you can’t stay there after all because you didn’t do your due diligence beforehand. If you booked a place that allowed your pet to stay, confirm before you arrive that that is still the case.

Invest in the Right Gear

Make sure you take in consideration travel gear for your pet. A comfortable and portable pet bed would go a long way with your pets comfort. The smell of something familiar calms them. Make sure you include a collapsible water bowl and bottled water as flights can be long, and the air can get dry making them thirstier. A safety harness and leash is imperative as all dogs must be on a leash if they are not in a cage. A few small toys for them to play with will help pass the time and keep them calm. Make sure to grab some waste bags so you can pick up after your pets messes when they have to use the restroom. Finally, bring items from home, maybe a throw blanket, that’s familiar to your furry loved one. This will help with the separation they will have from you for a temporary amount of time.

Make sure you do your research beforehand to assure an amazing travel experience for your furry family friend.


Sources: 

1 https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-pet-statistics

2 https://www.aplaceformom.com/planning-and-advice/articles/pet-friendly-assisted-living 

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