Having a vacation is essential to eliminate stress and keep you sane when you go through the chaotic rush of modern life. Beyond being enormously beneficial for your mental health, traveling is also advantageous for your physical health. You will get a chance to reconnect with yourself as you do not need to follow a tight schedule that modern life prescribes to us.

Going on a vacation is a ton of fun, and you can expand your perspectives and understandings of the world. If you have a pet, you may be reluctant to leave them at home while you travel. You will need to assign someone to take care of them while you are away or leave them at a care center. However, due to the emotional bond between the pet and the pet owner, it will be hard for both to stay away for long periods.

Pets are a part of our family, and no family vacation will be truly complete without them at your side, and you can make it the most rewarding experience for you and your pet. There are several things you can do to ensure that your pet remains happy and is not feeling stressed due to the change in the environment. Let us go into the details of the 6 things you must know before taking your pet on vacation.

6 Things You Must Know Before Taking Your Pet On Vacation

1. Consult With Your Veterinarian

Safety is the main priority that you need to ensure before taking your pet on vacation along with you. You will need to ensure that your pet is in perfect health, and traveling will not be adversely effective to their health before deciding to travel on vacation with you. You need to consult with your vet when you are in the planning stage as certain species and breeds are at a greater risk of health deterioration.

Dogs that have short noses such as the Boston Terriers are prone to respiratory issues and hence can contract problems while traveling in a plane. The animal can suffer serious health repercussions and even die if improper care during transportation occurs. The smaller breed of dogs is transportable in a little carrier bag, and you may keep it securely directly under your seat on the plane.

It is perfectly safe to transport your dog in the cargo hold of your flight if you take the proper precautions, according to the International Pet And Animal Transportation Association. If you need to transport your dog in a crate, you will need to complete crate training beforehand. This will prevent your pet from getting anxious or stressed and ensure that they are comfortable when you put them inside a crate for the entire tenure of the transportation.

Although it is not common for pets to incur any sort of injury during traveling, it is better to be on the safer side. This is especially true as you will not be able to keep an eye out on your pet if they need to be in a separate area such as a cargo hold. The crew of the airlines will also not be familiar with the medical history of your pet and may not understand if your pet is in torment.

If your pet is not in perfect health condition, the vet will likely advise you to leave them with a sitter until you return from the vacation. Your pets may not enjoy the vacation as much as you if they are not in perfect health or are sick. You will also need to consider the age and fitness of your pet to make sure that they can keep up with the activities during your vacation.

Depending on your vacation destination, your pet may require a health certificate or vaccination as per the law for permitting them to travel before departure. You will also need to protect your pet from heatstroke if the travel location is abnormally hot for their species. If your pet is a dog and you are traveling to a rabies-controlled or rabies-free country, it will be cumbersome to get the permit.

2. Ensure You Have All The Necessary Items

You will need to take all of the necessary items for your pet before packing for your vacation. These items will greatly help you in taking care of your pet and making it an enjoyable experience for them. Having familiar items will also be comforting for your pet when they are traveling to unknown places, often in confinement. A checklist will help you in thinking of all the items you need to take and packing all of them without missing out on any item.

The pet carrier is one of the most important items you will need to take with you while traveling. You need to confirm that your carrier confirms with the requirements of the airline if you are traveling by airplane. The carrier will also provide a safe place for your pet to retreat after you reach your destination. Your pet may not be safe in all the locations you visit when you are outside during your vacation, and the carrier can help you in these situations.

Another thing you require is a harness or collar for your pet with identification details. This will aid in easily identifying your pet in case your pet goes missing while on vacation. You will also need to keep the contact details of your veterinarian at hand to help you if your pet becomes sick while traveling. Since they will be familiar with their medical history, they can better diagnose your pet and treat them back to health

You must obtain a health certificate for your pet before commencing traveling and take it with you even if it is not mandatory by law at your destination. Take some more water and food for your pet than what you think is necessary. Traveling is full of surprises and you may encounter many issues that delay you from getting the needful for your pets.

It is also worthwhile to keep treats with you for rewarding your pet if they are behaving well or to distract them if they are feeling stressed. Keep in hand the favorite toys such as chew toys or scratchboards of your pet to keep them occupied when you are traveling for long durations. Have a first-aid kit that is usable for pets as a precaution just in case of any emergencies.

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has clear guidelines regarding the things you need to have in the first aid kit, such as clear gauze, adhesive tape, non-stick bandages and more. Carrying a waste bag will allow you to keep all the places you travel clean and free of any litter. Having towels, bedding and blankets in more numbers than necessary will aid in keeping your pet clean and comfortable.

3. Make Your Pet Comfortable

You must acclimatize your pet with the carrier and being in an enclosed environment for long extensions before you set out of your home. You will need to make your pet sleep in the carrier for at least a week before traveling to get them familiar with it. Ensure that the crate or carrier you purchase is comfortable for your pet. You can make the interiors even comfier by adding some blankets on the base of the carrier.

This will also insulate your pet from getting too cold and provide a decent level of comfort during bumpy rides. Crates with hard walls are the safest option as they provide the maximum protection to your pet from outside impact. You can also restrain your pet with the aid of the seatbelt or barrier system in your vehicle. You must secure your pet while traveling to protect them and yourself from injuries.

Take extra precautions to protect your pet from extreme weather conditions such as intense heat and cold. You may take dog clothes to provide an extra layer of protection to your pet from drastic weather. You must also ensure that your carrier is the right size for your pet. They must be able to sit upright, stand, and turn throughout while in confinement. The crate must not be too large or exceedingly small for the size of your pet to ensure comfort.

You must supply a litter pan and keep fresh water available for your pet cat at all times during traveling. You can also keep the favorite toys or other familiar items with your pets in the carrier to administer positivity to your pet. When you are familiarizing the carrier to your pet, leave the door open initially to let them build trust. After they are comfortable with it, close the door for short periods and gradually extend the time that you close the door.

4. Plan Ahead

The decision to take your pet along with you comes with a set of responsibilities, and it starts right from the planning phase. You need to start by ensuring the destination where you intend to take your pet is friendly towards animals. Some locations will attract more animal lovers and pet owners, and other locations may be more restrictive in their rules. You must confirm if there is a health risk for your pets at the location, such as the risk of parasites at the destination.

You also need to ensure that your mode of travel is welcoming of pets. Certain railway lines, cruise ships, and airlines do not permit the transportation of pets using their services. This means that you will need to reserve all the transportation tickets for your travel before commencing on vacation. The next thing you must sort out is the place where you will stay after arriving at your destination.

Not all hotels and lodging permit a pet to be on their premises, and so you must check with the management before you book the rooms. You must book your travel and accommodation of at least the first leg of your journey before starting on the vacation. Some hotels will charge extra if you want to bring your pet along with you.

5. Road Safety Precautions

You can also try using natural stress inhibitors or toys and treats as per the recommendations of your vet. You must never leave your pet alone in your car when you go out. The temperatures inside the car can quickly soar within a short time, especially if you park out in the sun and it can be incredibly dangerous for your pet. Never keep your pet in the front seats as the airbags are dangerous for them if they deploy.

You must always secure your pet in a carrier or with the seat belt in a car as it is dangerous in case of an accident. They can also be a distraction when you are driving and they can also contract injury if they stick their head out of the window. Bringing along a friend or family member along with you will help in taking care of your pet by taking turns. You must take a pitstop occasionally for your pet to relieve themselves and walk a little while traveling by road.

6. Air Travel Precautions

According to the International Pet And Animal Transportation Association, the use of tranquilizers on pets is not necessary for any mode of travel. Sedation can have a host of negative effects on the health of your pet, such as suppressing their body temperature regulation and normal respiratory function. However, you may use other forms of medication that induce a calming effect on your pet.

Inadequate exercise will cause your pet to become restless in their crate. You must walk your pet for long distances before putting them in their crate for traveling so that they will tire themselves and prepare their body for a long rest. Stick a paper with information about your address and contact details on the pet carrier before boarding the plane. Do not provide food to your pet 4 to 6 hours before the commencement of your flight. You may provide water inside the carrier along with your pet.


Going on a vacation can rejuvenate you and invigorate your body and soul to face the new challenges of life with positivity. It can help clear many misconceptions that you may have about the world and even yourself. The problems you encounter on the way will teach you to think on your feet and find solutions that are effective and acceptable. Your level of tolerance will also improve, and you can learn new things from widely different cultures.

Traveling with your pet can be incredibly pleasant, and you can rely on your pet to keep you company when you feel lonely. However, you will need to consider if your pet may be a nuisance for others at your vacation destination. You will need to plan your vacation to ensure that the destination has a pet-friendly environment, and you do not need to spend all your attention and energy on making sure that your pet is doing okay.

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