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20 Oct

Packing Essentials: What to Carry When Traveling with Your Pet

Have you ever travelled away from home and found yourself missing your pet? The feeling will be familiar to pet parents, especially those who are frequently called away from home. Many pet parents feel overwhelmed by pet travel, but once you’ve made that first journey, you’ll realise it is no more daunting than a regular flight provided you prepare for your trip. To help soothe your mind and simplify the process, we’ve compiled a list of essentials you’ll need while travelling with your pet.

Pre-Travel Planning

Before embarking on pet travel, you’ll need to settle on a destination. The ideal destination is one where both you and your pet are comfortable and can relax; if you have a nervous dog for example, you can choose a nice hillside journey to get some peace.

Remember to research your destination, as prior planning will help prevent any potential mishaps upon your arrival. Since each pet has different needs, make sure to plan your journey according to your pet’s needs. Once you’ve settled on a destination, your next move will be to figure out how you’re going to get there. You might be familiar with the modes you can use to get there, those being by road, by rail, and by air.

A road trip is the perfect method of pet travel, as it gives the two of you some quality time and ensures comfort while travelling as you'll be travelling on your terms (when to drive, stop, stay, etc). Make sure to stop regularly if your pet is prone to motion sickness and carry plenty of food and water to make sure your pet is refreshed throughout the journey.

The next option you have is train travel. Depending on your origin and destination location, this can be a viable option which offers a relaxing journey or one that takes too long for your taste. Planes are much faster than land transport, but they come with a price premium for the speed and with their own set of requirements you must fulfil before flying.

In the end, it comes down to your plans and where you’ve chosen to travel, but if you’ve chosen rail or air transport, make sure to plan and read up on the requirements so you can fulfil them and not have to rush at the last minute. Pet travel is a wonderful experience, but one which can quickly be soured by a lack of planning

Pet Travel Essentials & Checklist

  1. Food & Treats: For your pet's food, you should stick to their usual diet to steer clear of any upset tummy while en route. Dry food is easy to carry and helps avoid spillage, and you can always mix in some water if your pet likes a meal with some texture. Treats are a part of a pet’s daily life and that does not change while embarking on pet travel; treats are also useful when trying to drag your pet’s attention away from something while on the road. 

  2. Bedding: A familiar bed or mat is essential and ensures your pet is comfortable while travelling, regardless of the mode. If you have a massive pet bed that is impractical to travel with, try switching to a pet mat which can be rolled up. These can be carried nearly anywhere and do a wonderful job when paired with your pet’s favourite blanket. 

  3. Hygiene: Poop breaks are a big part of a road trip; you need to find a way of stopping at regular intervals and making sure you dispose of the waste correctly. You can use pet diapers if you’re on a route that does not allow too many stops, and environment-friendly poop bags if you get to plan your stops. For cats, flushable kitty litter will help you keep your refreshment areas clean and green. Remember, pet travel does not give anyone the right to spoil a pristine area. 

  4. Grooming: The great outdoors contains nature’s beauty in all its glory, including a plethora of insects and pests in the environment that dream of making their new home in your pet’s fur. Carry a grooming brush with you along with some anti-flea and anti-tick shampoo; when paired with some pet wipes and microfiber towels, these products help keep your pet clean and pest-free when on the move. Pet wipes will also help you clean up your pet’s paws if they happen to tread through some mud. 

  5. Toys: Since pets have little awareness of ‘travel time’, you should carry their favourite toys with you to keep them entertained in the car. An indoor toy and an outdoor toy should cover all bases while you’re away from home and will help stimulate your pet while acting as a familiar object in an unfamiliar space. 

  6. ID/Leash/Harness: When traversing through an unfamiliar area, your pet should always be on a leash and harness. This is to ensure your pet stays safe and is within control if an unforeseen situation presents itself; if you run into an off-leash and untrained dog, for example. Make sure your pet has a collar with their names on it, and make sure your pet is microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 pet microchip. These preventive measures will make finding your pet easier in the unfortunate circumstance of your separation.

To conclude, planning for travel is an important part of any journey, especially one being made with a pet. Provided you make sure to think ahead and make sure to carry all the essentials, you should have a safe and smooth journey. Provided you make sure to comply with the safety requirements and travel rules, you should have a smooth pet travel experience, regardless of the mode of travel.

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AUTHOR’S BIO

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ARSH BHARDWAJ

I am passionate about language, storytelling and the human urge to connect Having paid close attention to marketing and branding as a craft for some time, I'm eager as ever to indulge my passion for prose.

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