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The key to traveling with pets is planning the trip in advance. There are a number of ways to ensure the trip goes smoothly. Nobody wants to take care of a sick dog on vacation. In addition, proper paperwork and planning can help to ensure success. Listed below are five tips to ensure stress-free travel with pets.
1. Schedule an Appointment With the Veterinarian
The first tip for stress-free traveling with pets is to visit the veterinarian. It’s important to schedule this visit within a week or two of travel. Most states require a health certificate and proof of vaccinations. This is a great time to get all of one’s paperwork ready. Front office staff members are happy to print current records. Potential environmental and travel safety issues should be discussed with one’s veterinarian. The veterinarian may have additional vaccine suggestions depending upon where the dog may be travelling.
2. Keep Important Paperwork in One Place
All of the pet’s important information and paperwork should be kept in one place. It may be necessary to purchase a brightly colored folder or binder just for this task. Many people will tuck this in a back seat pocket during a road trip. Air travelers will often keep this paperwork on them at all times. This ensures it is ready when an official needs to see it. Extra copies should also be made. If baggage is lost or stolen, there should be a back up set. Ultimately, it is important to keep the veterinarians phone number handy. If all else fails, the animal hospital receptionist can fax records to a distant location.
3. Practice First
Practicing is a great idea for pets who are not regular travelers. Some people may find the whole process is just too stressful. Deciding to leave a pet at home is sometimes the only option. If a family practices travelling first, they will have enough time to make other arrangements if they need to. A great way to practice is to take Fido for short trips. The experience should always be positive. It is also important to make sure one’s pet is comfortable eating and drinking while on the road. Some pets get very anxious during travel. They may have a hard time eating and drinking. This will also be a great way to determine if a pet needs any anti-nausea medicine. If nausea is a concern, bring it up during the veterinary appointment. Most veterinarians are happy to prescribe medicine to help make travelling with pets a little bit easier.
4. Pack a Bag for Fido
Pets need luggage too! There should be a bag just for the pet. Food bowls, food, medicine, toys and accessories can all be packed in this bag. The best way to pack kibble for travelling is in individual sandwich bags. Each meal can be divided into a different sandwich bag. Bags can even be labeled for quick and easy use. This alleviates the hassle of measuring out of a large bag of food. This is also a great way to make sure the bag isn’t too heavy. Nobody wants to lug around a big bag of dog food.
5. Have an Emergency Plan
Pets can be unpredictable. Travelers should always have an emergency plan. Being able to locate a veterinarian quickly can be a true life-saver. It is absolutely essential to have information on local animal hospitals when traveling. A few extra bottles of water can help if a car is broken down. Even a small case of dehydration should be addressed when travelling with pets. Proper planning can ensure the trip goes smoothly for everybody, even Fido.
Author Bio: Kevin Caldwell is a writer for San Francisco Hotel Guides who helps people find Fisherman’s Wharf hotels as well as hotels through out all of San Francisco. Kevin enjoys traveling and sharing his experiences with others. You can connect with Kevin on Google+ to read more of his work.