Prior to Departure
Ask yourself if your pet will be able to accompany you on your trip with relative ease? Will they be pleased to do so? Some animals don’t like to travel and are much suited to staying at home or in a boarding facility.
Pets may become homesick or be prone to motion sickness, which could potentially ruin your trip. In such cases, it is best to leave your pet at home in the care of a pet sitter or trusted friend/family member. Similarly, you could leave your pet at a boarding facility.
Prepare in Advance
If you are planning to take your pet on a trip with you, plan and prepare carefully. If you will travel by a plane or boat, acquire all necessary information regarding reservations and transportation for your pet. If you are residing in a lodge, motel or caravan park, check first to see if they are pet friendly. Similarly, if you are planning to stay with a friend or relative, check with them first to ensure that it is okay to bring your pet.
- Check with the airline you wish to fly, before booking tickets, to ensure your pet can travel with you.
- Check with the airline regarding pet carriers and crates that must be used.
- Book the flight with minimum stops. Direct flights are best.
- Arrive at the airport each airport in plenty of time, ensure your pet is comfortably in the carrier/crate and retrieve them immediately after landing at your destination.
- You can also contact a pet transport company to provide door to door service for transporting pets.
- If you plan to take your pet on a road trip, but they are not used to travelling in a car, prepare them with some short trips in the lead up to departure. Get them used to the car and the carrier.
- Do not allow the pet to hang their heads outside an open car window during drive, as dirt and grit can cause injury or infections, and the cold air when inhaled may cause sickness.
- Dogs riding at the back of car must be caged or chained with a locked neck collar. The lead must be securely fastened to the middle of the vehicle. The chain should be long enough to allow the dog lie down easily, stand up and move around, but it should not be too long that it allows dog to jump over and climb the cabin or dashboard of the car.
- Take regular breaks after every 2 hours during a long journey to rest, eat and relax.
- Feed your dog at the end of the day. It is easy to carry dry food during travel, but if your pet is on canned food, feed this and dispose of any unused portions if not refrigerated.
- Never leave your pet unattended in parked car for a long period of time. If there is no alternative and you have to leave the pet in car, lock the doors properly and open windows slightly for ventilation. The windows should not be open enough to allow the animal to jump out or get their head stuck. Be cautious – it is not safe to leave your pet in a parked car on hot days as the temperature can become considerably high within no time and your pet can easily die from heat stroke.
- Some ships and cruises welcome pets for travel. Check with your cruise line or ask your travel agent before booking, if you do wish to take your pet with you. Only a select few cruise lines are pet friendly.
Good Advice for All Trips
- Make sure your pet is always collared with his identification information and registration tag. Micro chipping is essential.
- Always carry your pet’s favourite toys, foodstuff, dishes, water and a leash.
- Plan a visit to veterinarian before leaving on a long journey for general check up and to ensure vaccinations are up to date.
- If you are placing the pet in crate or carrier, than make sure it is large enough to allow free movement. It must be tough, and have a proper built-in place for food and water. It should also allow ventilation with a leak proof base and it must have a lock mechanism.
- If you are moving overseas, then consult Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) or your veterinarian because health and vaccination regulations vary from place to place.