Taking a vacation with your pup is the perfect way to spoil yourself and your pet this holiday season. Last year we gave helpful tips to make the trip easier and fun-packed. We also mentioned a few essentials on the packing list, but not all the must-pack items.
We have prepared a comprehensive list of what to carry while traveling with your pet. If it’s your first time traveling with your pet, this list will help you understand why you should pack these items. Mark this article on your favorite mobile gadget. We are sure you will need to refer to it as the holidays draw closer.
Your Pet’s Vaccination Papers
Top of your packing list should be your pet’s vaccination records and a health certificate from your vet. You can organize them in a nice folder. They should be accessible and take up as little space as possible.
A few days before the trip, take your pet to the vet for a check-up and request a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI). Don’t forget to carry any medication your pet could be taking and learn as much as you can about the vets and pet-emergency centers in your destination.
Why does your pet need a health check? Why should you pack the records?
Some pets cannot handle travel because of illness, injury, or age. Your vet will also certify that your pet is free from any infectious diseases and meets the import requirements of your destination. Furthermore, most states require all animals coming into their territories to have certificates of veterinary inspection (CVI).
A Pet Carrier
As you plan your holiday itinerary, remember your pet. You cannot possibly pay attention to your pet all the time. Plus, you’ll be traveling by road or air for a prolonged time. So, help your pet to feel comfortable - pack a pet carrier.
Your dog may seem to enjoy sticking his head out the car window. But this could be dangerous. On the other hand, cats don’t like the bumps of vehicle travel. A portable crate will keep them stable and minimize stress. If you plan to travel by air, note that most airlines require pets to travel while confined. Large pets, such as large breed dogs, are secured in the cargo hold during the flight.
A comfortable, well-padded, and well-ventilated carrier ensures your pet is mobile and comfortable throughout the trip and your stay.
Some Comforts From Home
Perhaps you plan to spend the holiday with family and friends at a hotel or maybe in your old neighborhood. But to your pet, these are strangers in unfamiliar surroundings. As you may expect, this could freak out your pup, and it may trigger some unusual behavior. So, bring along some comforts from home.
You can pack some of your dog’s favorite toys, treats, and beddings. If you own a cat, you could carry the litter box too.
An Extra Collar and Extra ID Tags
The Vets advice when traveling with a pet is to “Have your dog or cat microchipped and make sure the information with the service provider is up to date. Also, consider getting an extra collar and ID tag with the contact details of the destination where you will be staying.”
Since you will be in unfamiliar territory, your dog or cat could easily get lost. In case this happens, an up-to-date ID tag and microchip are crucial. They will help whoever finds your lost pet to return them safely. Remember, all dog collars should be comfortable and flat. Don’t use a choke collar on your dog.
You don’t have to carry all the pet grooming materials, equipment, and supplies, but pack accordingly. Carry what you need to keep your dog’s coat healthy, neat, and comfortable. So, carry brushes, combs, shampoo, and anything else you might need, depending on the activities on your schedule.
Why care about grooming and the plan is to be away for a week or less?
Your itinerary probably includes going to fancy restaurants, hanging out in the town (or beach), and other social gatherings. You are planning to put on nice clothes and look great. Your pet also loves to look and feel nice. So, include some pet grooming supplies in your packing list.
Pet Bowls, Food, and Freshwater
Do you need to carry some dog food? Yes, you do! It may feel like an extra load. But what they have at the destination stores may not be the same as what you give him.
A sudden change in diet or water quality, coupled with anxiety caused by traveling and an unfamiliar environment, could make your pet feel under the weather. Since no one wants to be sick on vacation, packing some pet food and fresh water will help to keep your pet in a good space during your stay.
Remember, pets eat and drink best from familiar bowls. The pet bowls, food, and freshwater will help to keep them hydrated, healthy, and upbeat.
A Good, Clear Picture of Your Pet
A picture is worth a thousand words. A pet’s name and clear picture are crucial for any search and rescue operation. If you ever get separated from your dog, you can show it to the airport authorities and use it to create “missing pet” signs and posts.
They make it easier for the audience to spot and call your fur baby and bring them home.
Here’s The Bottom Line
Traveling with your pet will be much easier if you have everything on this list. Is it your first trip with your pet? You’ll be ready for curveballs that might come your way. Whether you are traveling by air, car, or by boat, your pet will enjoy the vacation as much as you do.
If it is not your first trip with your pet, tell other pet parents about something you packed, and it made your vacation so much better.