Holiday Pet Travel
Your traveling for the holidays and you don’t want to leave your furry friend behind! Don’t fret, follow these 5 easy holiday pet travel steps for taking your pets with you via car or air.
Pets in Car
- Make sure your pet is well secured either in a kennel (suggested for cats) or with a harness that works with your seatbelt. Safety is always a top priority!
- Plan your stops. Most hotels are pet friendly for a fee now, but it is always good to plan out your road comfort stops for your pets. Never let your pet off leash in a public area.
- Put together a care kit with food, water, litter, puppy pads, water and food bowls, and a first aid kit. Make sure your pet is wearing some form of identification.
- Bring toys! Pets are like kids and need to be entertained during a long trip. Bring old toys for comfort and new toys for entertainment. This also will allow you to keep your pets safely inside the car and not require windows to be opened for entertainment.
- Prepare your pet for travel. Do they get anxious? Do they pant, bark, howl, salivate etc. If they do you can look at natural calming agents such as calming collars and sprays. If those don’t work, talk to your veterinarian.
Your costs when traveling with your pet will likely be limited to your hotel associated fees. Please keep in mind that if your pet is injured during travel, while veterinary emergency centers are found in most large cities now, they can be quite expensive due to their overhead.
Pets on a Plane
- Visit your veterinarian to ensure your pet is healthy for air travel. If your pet is over 8, it is always good to have some bloodwork run to have a baseline of what is their “normal”.
- Make sure you have purchased the correct kennel. If your pets are flying in cabin check out the Sherpa carriers for lightweight durable IATA compliant kennels. For cargo we typically recommend PetMate kennels for their compliance and durability. Not all kennels are made alike and just because it says it is compliant, doesn’t mean it is compliant with the current standards or the airlines requirements.
- Prepare your pet for travel. Do they get anxious? Do they pant, bark, howl, salivate etc. If they do you can look at natural calming agents such as calming collars and sprays. If those don’t work, talk to your veterinarian. Most airlines will not accept pets that have been sedated, some even under the direction of a veterinarian. Double check with your airlines for their specific requirements. If you are traveling in cabin with your pet, prepare a travel kit like the one above for the car. Make sure you have everything you will need at your destination such as food and water bowls, food, water, shampoo, dog and cat beds, extra collar and leash, litterbox, litter, medications.
- Arrive at the airport early. If you are flying with your pet in cabin give yourselves at least 2 hours. You are required to remove your pet from their carrier at the airport, but you can also request a private screening if you are worried about your pet trying to escape. (More details on traveling in cabin with a pet) If your pet is too large to fly in cabin, you will need to go to the cargo department or sometimes airport checkin 3-4 hours prior to the flight. Confirm with the airlines the dropoff and pickup locations for your pet.
- Do not take your pet out of their kennel until they are secured with a leash or in a secure space. Pets when stressed can manifest differently and their safety is more important than a mess they made in their kennel. Most pets keep their kennels clean, but if an accident does happen, keep calm and address the situation safely.
Costs for pets to fly range from 125-250 in cabin to 350-850 in the live animal cargo hold.