Wander Paws: A Guide to Travelling with Pets
Pet boarding can be one less thing to think about if you are one of the 20% of Aussies who prefer to pack your pooch along when it comes to family holidays. Travelling with a dog has become much easier due to the increased availability of pet friendly transport and accommodation. With a little preparation, a safe and happy holiday can be enjoyed by both four, and two-legged family holiday makers. Whilst most dogs make keen travel buddies, many cats tend to find travel to be too stress inducing, so it is recommended to leave them in their familiar surrounds while you go on vacation.
Preparation is the key! Our first tip when getting your pet holiday ready is to make an appointment with your vet. A preventative health check; microchip check; and flea, worm and immunisation update can give you the green light you need for travelling with your pet, especially if you are flying. This also gives you the opportunity to chat with your vet about how to best support your pet’s wellbeing during travel. This may include ways to address any anxiety your dog experiences due to unfamiliar routines or places. If you have pet insurance, make sure you have all your policy details with you to ensure peace of mind.
If a road trip forms part of your holiday plans, there are some great ways to ensure your pets comfort in the car. If your pet is already a regular car traveller, then you will no doubt already be across the right type of restraint. Dogs should always be restrained using a dog seat belt or safety harness, ideally in the back seat, and contrary to what you often see, not so loose that your pooch can cruise with their head out the window. Restraining them inside the vehicle ensures legal compliance, but also safety. When planning your time on the road, it’s a great idea to allow enough time for regular breaks. Your canine car companion will need toilet stops or a little stretch out and an opportunity to rehydrate. While you get your caffeine fix, bringing along a water bowl to put down at each stop can ensure your pooch stays hydrated. Hopefully, it goes without saying that you should never leave your pet in the car unattended.
If you are thinking of taking to the skies to get to your holiday destination, your pet is welcome on most airlines – some even allow them to travel in the cabin with you. You will need an airline approved crate or carrier, so check dimensions and feature requirements with the airline. It’s a good idea to get your pooch familiar with the carrier ahead of the trip if they are not already. A favourite toy or a piece of your clothing in the carrier can help calm any travel nerves too. On the day of travel, keep pup’s food intake modest in case of any turbulence tummy reactions, and try and get a good walk in ahead of the trip so they are keen to sit and rest during the flight. A stash of treats is always helpful, and enough food supplies for the first few days can take the pressure off having to sort that out as soon as you land.
When planning accommodation, online booking websites such as Airbnb or BringFido enable you to search for pet-friendly venues. You’ll discover a range of options, from 5-star hotel rooms like the Langham (that provides a pet room service menu) to family-friendly Big4 locations with large gated open spaces for dogs to safely run around.
Traveling with pets can be a rewarding experience that deepens the bond between you and your furry friend. With proper planning, consideration, and a commitment to your pet’s well-being, you can create lasting memories together on the road. So, pack your bags, leash up your companion, and embark on a journey filled with adventure, discovery, and wagging tails. Safe travels!
If you would like more travel tips or need to book in a pre-holiday appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out to our professional veterinary team.