While you might leave your pet behind on most of your vacations, there may be times where you want to bring them or leaving them at home just isn’t an option. Maybe your kennel or pet sitter fell through, or maybe you’ll just be gone too long to justify leaving your fur baby. Whatever the reason, here’s everything you need to know about traveling with a pet.

Determine If Your Pet Can Travel
Some animals do not do well with traveling. If your pet becomes easily afraid of new people, places, other animals or new experiences, it’s probably best to leave them at home. If you’re going to be gone for a long time, find a friend or family member your pet has met before to watch him while you’re away. Not only is dragging a terrified animal through an airport or into a hotel unfair to your pet, it could also be dangerous for other people if he gets aggressive in an unfamiliar situation.

Update Pet Information
When you travel, make sure your pet has a secure collar with its name and a way to contact you. Collars let other people know that your pet isn’t a stray, and giving them a way to contact you ensures that your pet won’t be lost forever. You should also have your pet tagged with a microchip in case the collar or tag falls off.

Make Sure Your Pet Is Healthy
Before you leave, make sure your pet is healthy enough to travel and be away from home for an extended period of time. Get him up to date on any shots he may need, and have the vet to a routine physical. You don’t want to bring fleas into a hotel or have your dog get sick while you’re on vacation. Additionally, you may need to have papers certifying that your pet is healthy and has all vaccinations to take him on a plane or train or to stay in a pet-friendly hotel.

Pack a Pet Bag
Just like you need your necessities while you’re away, your pet needs things, too. Bring an appropriately sized travel crate for transportation. Make sure you bring food and water bowls, a supply of his regular food and treats, toys, a bed and any medications he takes or might need. 

Pet Bag

Get Emergency Pet Contacts
Look up some local vet offices or emergency animal clinics in each place you’ll be traveling. You don’t want to be scrambling to find someone if your pet gets sick or accidentally swallows or ingests something inedible. Ask your vet for some recommendations before you leave and program the numbers and addresses into your phone ahead of time.

Check All Restrictions and Requirements
If you’re taking your pet out of the country, you’ll probably need health certificates and maybe some other paperwork for your pet to be allowed into the country. Some countries may even require animals to be quarantined before entering, so check all restrictions before making travel arrangements. Some states may even have their own rules and regulations. You should also check with any airlines, rental car services, trains and hotels to confirm pet policies so you know for sure your pet is allowed.

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