Safety, comfort and security are top priorities when travelling with pets. If a pet is too young, too old, anxiety-prone or ill—it’s best to leave them home. Cats attached to their environments generally don’t travel well, so unless it’s a long-term stay or you’re moving, it’s best to leave the felines behind. But for those of you who like to adventure with your four-legged companions, we’ve put together a guide for safe travels.
Check with Your Vet
Get the “all clear” from your vet, in writing,10 days before departure. Many airlines and border crossings require proof of recent vet visits. Bring copies of medical records and vaccinations.
As well as a microchip and licence tag, add another tag with your pet’s name and your cell phone number. Print out a picture of your pet before you leave, in case of separation. This will save valuable time in case of an emergency.
Whether you’re travelling by car or plane your pet will need a crate to stand and turn comfortably in. Practice crating them for two months prior to departure. When trip time rolls around they’ll think of it as a little piece of home. Be sure to put a familiar blanket inside. Check with the airline to ensure your crate is regulation size.
Research Your Destination
Nobody appreciates an animal showing up without warning. If you’re staying with family or friends ask if your pet is welcome, if they have adequate space and if anyone suffers from pet allergies. If you're staying at hotels, talk to them in advance. Ask about additional charges. Find out if the community is pet-friendly. They’ll likely want your pet out of the room or crated when cleaning. For overseas travel know the quarantine regulations of your host country (remember Boo and Pistol?).
Travelling By Car
Plan plenty of pit stops for exercise, food, water and hugs. Stop every 2-3 hours. You can hack six hours straight driving but your pet can’t.
Travelling by Air
Book yourself on the same flight as your pet. Unless your pet is under 4.5 kg (or for mobility assistance), they’ll have to travel cargo. Get to the airport at least three hours before flight time with a well-labelled crate—include your pet’s name, destination, flight number, your cell phone number and feeding schedule. Don’t forget their bed, favourite toy and food attached to the outside of the crate.