5 Tips for Traveling with a Pet
Are you planning a weekend getaway with your pet to escape the cold this winter? Traveling with a pet can be fun, but it can also be stressful if you’re not prepared. As pet owners ourselves, the team at St. Paul Pet Hospital wants your pet to be safe during your trip, just like you do. That’s why we’ve provided the following tips for traveling with a pet, so you and your pet have a safe, stress-free journey.
Keep Vaccinations Updated
Vaccinations help protect your pet from potentially fatal diseases, which is why it’s so important to keep them updated, especially when you travel. Keep in mind that some airlines even require proof of vaccinations in the form of a health certificate before allowing your pet on their plane. Check your airline for their policy before booking your flight to avoid any surprises.
Choose Your Pet Carrier Wisely
If your pet will be traveling in a carrier during your trip, choose one that’s comfortable and spacious. Keep in mind that all airlines have dimension limits for pet carriers in the cabin, so if you’ll be taking your dog or cat as your carryon, make sure the carrier does not exceed these limits. For the cabin, it’s best to choose a soft-sided carrier, since it offers more flexibility for under the seat.
Make Sure Your Pet Has ID
The last thing you want is for your pet to get separated from you during travel, so make sure your pet has sufficient identification, either in the form of ID tag or microchip—or both. Make sure your contact information on the ID is current as well. If your pet isn’t already microchipped, let us know. We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for this fast, painless procedure.
Expect the Unexpected
Of course, every pet owner hopes to have a fun, safe trip with their pet, but sometimes, things can happen that aren’t planned. Always pack an emergency kit that includes basic first aid items when you travel with your pet. It’s also a great idea to get familiar with the emergency vets near your destination. If you have a smartphone, you can use the GPS setting and do a search for “Emergency Vet Near Me,” if necessary.
Know the Fees
Most airlines charge an additional fee to fly with a pet, which is usually around $100 each way. You can usually find this information on your airline’s website. Most airlines require also that you book your pet’s flight when you book your own. We recommend that you also ask about the pet cancellation policy, too, in case you need to cancel at the last minute.