Traveling this summer? Maybe you’re going to the beach. Or the mountains. Or Paris. Congratulations. We’re jealous! Your pet, on the other hand, may not be. While you may find it hard to be away from your animal for a while, your pets may be more stressed by going along. Consider their health and emotional needs before deciding to bring them along.
It’s tempting to want to bring your pet with you, but some animals aren’t suited for travel due to temperament, illness or physical impairment.
Think about where your pet would be happiest. You may think that your dog won’t be able to tolerate separation from you, but if you are vacationing, will you have to leave him in a hotel room or strange kennel? That will make him more anxious than ever. A professional pet-sitter or local kennel would probably be a better choice.
Cats do not enjoy change and taking them on trips is usually not a good idea. Unless you are moving or going away for an extended period, rethink taking the cat and the stress of riding for hours or days in a crate. Change can cause cats major stress, which can lead to behavior problems.
If you have any doubts about whether it’s appropriate for your pet to travel, talk to your veterinarian first. If your veterinarian thinks your pet is suited for travel, they may also prescribe a sedative or tranquilizer and recommend a trial run so you can observe the effects of the prescribed dosage.
Do not give your pet any drug not prescribed or given to you by your veterinarian.
If you decide your pet should not travel, you can board your animal at a kennel or hire a pet sitter. If you’ve decided to board your pet, get references and personally inspect the kennel. (Many qualified options are in this publication ready to serve you!). Be sure your pet is microchipped before you leave your dog or cat anywhere unfamiliar to the animal.