Travel can stress anyone out, but it can especially take a toll on small animals. Here are some tips that can help ensure safe and comfortable travel for your pet.
Find an Appropriate Kennel or Pet Carrier Before You Need It
Don’t be caught off guard and not have a carrier when you need one, especially if there’s an emergency. Look for carriers that will give your pet enough space to rest comfortably. Airline Approved carriers can help protect your pet during transport, as the wireframes sewn into some otherwise soft-shell exteriors help maintain the carrier’s shape. Two other important factors to consider when purchasing a carrier include a structure that has ample air flow, as well as a structure that allows for feeding and watering during travel.
Get Your Pet Acquainted with Their Carrier Ahead of Time
Allowing your pet to explore their carrier on their own time can help them learn that it’s a safe place to rest. Always make sure to do trial runs with your pet in their carrier before actually traveling. This will help ensure that your pet can handle travel.
Include Hay in Your Pet's Carrier
Small herbivores need hay available to them at all times—make sure hay is accessible to your pet during transport. Other small animals can benefit from hay in their carriers, too, as hay can be provided as safe and comforting nesting material.
Bring Your Pet's Water Bottle Along
Provide water to them as needed.
Factor in the Element
If it’s wintertime, include extra nesting material in your pet’s carrier; if it’s hot outside, place some form of cold relief such as a frozen water bottle in one corner of the carrier (just make sure it doesn’t roll around!).
Provide Skid-Resistant Flooring
Add a non-skid material to the floor of the carrier. This material should be something that your pet is familiar with and won’t chew on, such as a blanket that smells like them. This will help prevent your pet from sliding around during transport.
Travel with a (Human) Friend
It can be helpful to travel with a friend or family member, especially if you’re driving to your destination. This will give you the opportunity to monitor your pet while your friend or family member focuses on the road.
Think of Your Pet's Needs Ahead of Time
Your pet will have far different needs for a veterinarian visit compared to staying with a pet sitter for a week. List all your pet’s needs ahead of time so nothing is forgotten during packing. If you’re going on a long trip with your pet, think about rest stops and hotels for the night. Are the stops you have planned suitable for your pet?
Consider Your Pet as an Individual
Every pet is unique and will react to traveling differently! Some pets won’t mind traveling at all, while other pets can be very anxious and will need lots of reassurance. If your pet is especially anxious or has special needs, carefully consider the amount of travel they can safely handle.