Traveling with your pet is a unique experience, but as you can imagine, there are a variety of procedures that are customary towards bringing your pet with you on an extended outdoor trip. Whether you want your pet to tag along with you on a hiking expedition or to the country of Brazil, you have to be mindful of the process that is required for your pet to come along.
In this article, you will receive a comprehensive guide that will supply you with the information you need to travel with your pet. In addition, this information will overall help you make the critical decision on if you want to travel with your pet or not.
What are The Prerequisites for Legally Traveling with your Pet?
While it isn’t difficult to simply take your pet with you on your trip, you could place yourself in a complicated position if you aren’t aware of certain pet policies and traveling requirements. Hence, here are the basic prerequisites you should keep in mind when traveling with your pet.
- Comfortability – Make sure your pet is able to travel. If your pet is experiencing an illness, old-age, or is unable to conduct itself accordingly, it may be best to leave your pet with a reliable pet-sitter or with a trusted friend or relative.
- Identification – If your pet gets lost, it will need to have some form of identification so it can properly be given back to you. Make sure your pet has up to date identification so you are prepared for this possible outcome.
- Health Records – If you are traveling across a state or to another country, you may be required to surrender your pet’s health records before it’s cleared to travel. In most cases, you will be required to have a Health Certificate signed by an accredited veterinarian that outlines your pet’s competency and health. Some forms of international travel require these documents to be endorsed by the USDA.
- Pet Policies – If you are traveling for an extended period of time with your pet, it stands to reason that it will be staying where you are. Nonetheless, you will have to make arrangements with the place you will be temporarily saying to ensure that your pet can come along. For example, if you will be staying at a hotel, make sure to call the hotel staff and inquire about their pet policies. While some hotels and motels only allow small pets, they may be willing to make an exception.
Whom Should I Contact About my Travel Arrangements?
Before you make any travel arrangements, you will need to contact specific individuals and businesses about your plans of including your pet(s) in your travel plan. As mentioned previously, you should contact your veterinarian first to ensure that your pet is fit to travel with you and has the proper documentation.
You will also need to visit the USDA’s website to learn more about state and international travel with your pet. To call them, dial 800-545-8732 and press the #2 to reach the department of State Relations.
If you are traveling by plane, contact your airline company to set up a travel accommodation for your pet. Alternatively, if your vacation is endorsed by a travel agency, make sure that the company is aware of your plans to travel with your pet.
Lastly, if you are traveling outside of the international borders (even Hawaii), you will be required to contact the corresponding Foreign Consulate for more information about bringing your pet in your travels at least four weeks in advance.
How Do I Travel With My Pet on an Airplane?
There are a wide array of federal guidelines that involve of traveling pet with you on airline companies. Here are some common guidelines you should be familiar with if you plan to bring your pet with you on an airplane.
Most airline companies require a Health Certificate 10 days prior to your date of travel.
- Your pet must be at least 8 weeks old to travel, according to federal regulations. Also, your pet must be weaned at least 5 days prior to flying.
- If an airline company cannot guarantee that your pet will be transported in temperatures that range from 46°F (7.2°C) to 84°F (29.5 C), your pet will be forbidden to fly.
- It is highly NOT recommended to sedate or tranquilize your pets during your flight.
- Make sure your pet has a comfortable crate that is large enough for it to maneuver in. Moreover, ensure that the crate has a leak-proof exterior with suitable absorbent material.
- In order to ensure that your pet is properly taken care of by the flight crew, label your crate with your name, phone number, and home address. You should also draw a sign indicating that “Live Animals” are present in the crate with arrow that show which side is upright.
How Do I Travel With My Pet in a Car?
Unlike airplanes and other forms of travel, your pet is allowed to travel with you entirely at your discretion. Still, you should familiarize yourself with these common guidelines to ensure your pet’s comfort and health during your extended trip.
If you pet does not travel in a car well, it’s recommended to leave your pet at home, with friends and relatives, or in a boarding facility endorsed by your veterinarian.
- Make frequent stops (if you can) every 2-3 hours to allow your pet to exercise and use the bathroom.
- Make sure your pet is properly restrained to prevent an injury or death.
- Do NOT allow your pet to travel with its head outside of the window. Dirt and debris can get lodged inside of the pet’s ears, mouth, and nose and can lead to an infection.
- Pets should NOT be allowed to sit on their owner’s lap or near their feet.
- If you are traveling with a cat, make sure your bring a carrier for your pet.
- Provide your pet with a familiar toy or blanket to make it comfortable during the trip. Also, never leave your pet alone in your vehicle.
Overall, When planning on traveling with your pet, you must be aware of the extensive guidelines that are required to do so. By consulting this guide, you should be able to comfortably travel with your pet to your destination.