Going on a well-deserved holiday (especially we all do after the horrors of 2020) is something that Aussies love doing. We all enjoy getting out on the open road and taking the car for a long trip or hop on a plane and arrive in no time at all! However, if you want to take your pets along, and who wouldn’t, then you’ll need to do some planning before you leave.

Travelling with your pet in the car

Cars are brilliant for short trips. If you’re travelling with your pet then try to keep trips down to no longer than an hour at a time, especially if they’re young. Dogs can become car sick due to the motion of the vehicle. Watch out for your dog becoming uncomfortable and looking to escape. If they start looking a little unusual, you’ll need to pull over and let them out for a break. There are several products on the market that help dogs to relax during a car journey, if you’d like to use these you should follow the instructions carefully. In some cases, you’ll need to treat them a few hours before you’re scheduled to leave.

Ideally, all animals that ride in your car need to be restrained. For cats this means a suitable travelling case, and for dogs they need a harness, and an appropriate car seat belt attachment. When you’re driving the animal needs to be kept from distracting the driver. Fines for an unrestrained animal can be quite excessive, and an unwanted part of your holiday. Luckily if you do forget a restraint, then most pet stores will be able to supply you with the appropriate gear. If you’re travelling interstate, then it’s best to check what the laws are in each state.

Before you depart, pack up a bag full of the items your dog or cat will need for the trip. This includes a bowl for food and water, harness and lead, a jacket (if it is going to be cold), and something special for them (treats, bones, etc). Treating your pets during the journey can reinforce the idea that going in the car is a fun exercise. This will make them more willing to get in and join you on your adventures.

Planning and how to travel with pets

For anything more than a day trip, you’ll need to do some additional planning. For accommodation the place you stay at needs to agree with having pets at the property. However, all this can be determined with a simple phone call; for best results call before you book in. Many businesses are happy to have pets stay, but you may need to pay for any damages your pet causes, and that is something to consider before committing to taking your pets with you.

If you’re travelling by plane, then there may be specific requirements for the travelling case that your pet must stay in for the duration of the flight. Most airlines will need a secure travelling case, one that has metal screws, suitable tiedown hooks, and the ability to provide water without opening the door. It is highly recommended you talk to the airline about the specific requirements of your pet’s travel. Often an airline ticket for your pet will cost as much as a general flight ticket, and there may be an additional charge if you need to hire a suitable crate.

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Holiday travel with pets

If you’re looking to avoid the costs associated with boarding your pets, then taking them with you on holiday can offer some savings. Many rental homes, hotels, and resorts will not charge extra if you have one of your furry children staying with you. Although there may be special requests, such as additional cleaning charges, often these are negligible when compared to keeping your pet in a boarding kennel for an extended amount of time.

Before setting your sights on a holiday destination, you should scope the area out. Check that there is somewhere nearby that you can buy pet supplies from, and see if they sell the same food you are feeding at home. Changing your pets’ food can be tricky, as some pets can have adverse reactions which can result in an excess cleaning bill from the place you’re staying at. For the best solution call up any local pet supplies stores to see what they have. Another option is having the food delivered to where you’re staying, however, you may need to factor in delivery delays. If you can’t get the food locally, you’ll need to take it with you.

When travelling with your pet, have a bag packed just for them. In this, you can include all their toys, blankets, leads, collars, and even their bed if it’ll fit. This will give them some reassurances as often a pet can stress out if there are too many changes to their environment. You want your pet to feel comfortable, and by having many items from home there will be familiar scents so they do not feel too lost. An important note is that you need to keep your regular routines up, so if you normally walk your pet in the morning it is best to maintain this, otherwise, they may feel like something is wrong and start to stress out.

If you feel that your pet is not settling in during the holiday, you can try medication, or a stress reduction jacket. Both of these are usually available from local pet supplies stores and are quite effective. In most cases, your pet will be perfectly okay as long as you are nearby, but it’s best to be prepared just in case something happens. It may be a good idea to buy pet insurance before you leave on holiday as an added precaution.

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Is it good to travel with my pet?

It all depends on how well your pet travels. There are some pets that simply are not suited to travelling. To find out if your pet can handle travelling it is best to take a short trip, something no longer than a few hours away from home. During this short trip look for any problems, are they anxious or stressing out? If they are then it’s safe to say that they will not be able to handle a longer journey. Pets are very similar to humans in that some can handle different surroundings with no problems, and others prefer to stay where they feel comfortable. They can also feed off your emotions, so if you’re freaking out, then odds are they will be also.

If your pet enjoys going in the car, and is excited by new places and being in different situations, then it’s likely they’ll enjoy going away as much as you will. And that’s a good thing! Travelling with your pet can bring out new experiences and take the holiday to a new level of enjoyment. We all need a holiday every now and then and perhaps your pet will enjoy escaping from the humdrum. Remember to take plenty of photos of you and your pet chilling out on holidays, and make it the envy of all your friends.

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