Many people like to include the family pet when they travel, especially over the holiday season. After all, why should your pet miss out on all the fun?
Pets that are most likely to travel with the family are dogs, who love to go for rides in the car and be included in outings and activities, but sometimes people have other animals such as cats, birds, rabbits, rats or ferrets that like to travel.
As a rule, the more your pet likes quiet and solitude, the less likely it is they’ll enjoy any form of travelling or break from routine, so try to see it from your pet’s perspective and find a reliable pet sitter or, as a last resort, a boarding facility. Keep in mind that your pet will be much happier at home in familiar surroundings, even if you’re not there. Boarding facilities can be very stressful for shy pets, and they don’t come cheap.
If you’re going to take your pet with you on holiday, do some research before you leave to ensure your pet will be welcome.
Pets aren’t allowed in national parks and you won’t be allowed you have them with you. If you’re coming from city life to a rural area or the outback, you must make sure your pet isn’t going to run away or chase livestock, or worse, snakes. You might think you know your pet well, but if they’ve never seen a snake or a fast-moving flock of sheep, you can’t predict what their reaction will be. Farmers have a right to act if your pet is on their property chasing their livestock, and it doesn’t always end well.
Having your pet microchipped can help you find him if he gets lost but you want to avoid losing him in the first place. Keep your pet safe and secure on a leash at all times. Also be aware of the possibility of picking up ticks or fleas in unfamiliar areas.
If you’re travelling by car, treat your pet the same way you would if you were travelling with a child. Keep them cool or warm, depending on the weather, and buckle up with an approved pet restraint, or for cats and other animals, lock them in a pet carrier.
You’ll need to make frequent comfort stops so your pet can go to the toilet (don’t forget to pick up after them), stretch their legs and have a drink.
Most importantly, never leave your pet locked in the car. Short periods with the windows down in cool weather is fine if it’s absolutely necessary, but never leave them in the car in summer, even with a window down. Your car can become like an oven in the sun and your pet can overheat and become seriously ill or potentially die if left too long.
If you’re planning on flying to your destination, you’ll need to make arrangements with the airline to safely transport your pet. You should also speak to your veterinary clinic for advice about preparing your pet for air travel.
Veterinary Advice in Sydney
If you need further advice about travelling with your pet or have any other veterinary issues, speak to our specialist vets at Sydney Veterinary Emergency & Specialists today. Book an appointment from Monday to Friday 8:30am-6pm or contact us for emergency and after-hours care. Call us on (02) 9197 5800, contact us online or learn more about our services.