How to Make the Most of Pet Travel

By Abbi Browning

 IMAGE:  Patrick Hendry  via  Unsplash

Pets are a part of our family and deserve a vacation with us, but very few people know the correct procedures to follow in order to travel and fly with their furry friends.

This is everything you need to know regarding transportation, insurance and safety so you can make the most of pet travel.

Pet Passports

Many people assume that it can take weeks to sort a passport for your pet, with them being kept in quarantine for months, yet this is not the case. To acquire a passport, you simply need to take them to a local vet that can issue these with their updated records and identity certificates as well as making sure they’re microchipped before travelling.

Alternatively, you could contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency, if you are travelling from the UK. If travelling from America, most states only require health certificates, but this can vary depending on your location.

Airline Pet Travel

When it comes to flights, there are three options for where airline pet travel: in cabin, where they’d be stowed below your seat with you; in the cargo hold (in checked baggage), or in manifest cargo, if your pet is a particularly large animal.

You may feel that it’d be more stressful for your pet to sit in cargo, but actually this may be easier for them, as they could rest with less distractions. If you decide to take them in the cabin with you, however, there are several ways you can calm your pet during the journey, such as giving them treats, or providing them with something that has your scent. A soft carrier is also recommended, so they can easily be moved between the floor and your lap.

Realistically, the only way to determine where they should be is through judging their needs and behaviours. If you feel that flying would not be suitable for your pet, a road trip or the Euro Tunnel could be a friendlier option for pet travel, with one journey costing £19 per pet.

Caring for Your Pet Abroad

It is essential that you consider the temperature of the country you’re visiting if travelling to a hotter region. Dogs, in particular, can comfortably cope in heat up until roughly 90˚F (32˚C), so they need to be provided with plenty of water and shade as much as possible, otherwise they may start to suffer from heatstroke. You can recognize the signs of heatstroke fairly early by looking for thick saliva and a red tongue, an increased heart rate, or vomiting.

A good tick, sandfly and mosquito repellent could significantly reduce the chances of them contracting a parasitic disease, so would be worth packing for them, too.

Pet Travel Insurance

As you’re in a less familiar place than home, you also don’t know what else your pets may be at risk for. I’d recommend looking for appropriate pet travel insurance, in case they need medical treatment abroad – especially as it may be harder to source a vet.

Many see their pets as an extended member of the family and would hate to exclude them from a potential getaway. If you can comfortably manage to meet these needs of your pet, it will ensure that you both can enjoy vacation in the sun, without the worry of them being at risk.


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