Animals are among our most treasured companions, so much so that the old proverb claims that “a dog is a man’s best friend”. We want to share in so many of life’s joys with our pets, even if there are limits – it would be highly inadvisable to attempt to share chocolate cake with one’s dog. We cuddle our pets, play with them, walk with them – so naturally it’s understandable that many of us also want to travel with our four-legged, flippered, feathery or fishy friends.
Some pets are more suited to travel than others – it’s probably not a good idea to take a goldfish on a hike through the desert. But for many pets, travel is a possibility, provided that a few precautions are taken:
- Start with a check-up: Before you decide to take your pet on holiday, take it to the vet. You should get the professionals to make sure that your pet’s health is good enough to travel. You should also make sure that vaccinations and the like are all up to date, and that if your pet takes medication, that they have enough for the trip. It’s also a good idea to have the contact details of a vet at your holiday location.
- Keep your details on the pet: Everyone has a story about lost luggage, but a lost dog is far worse. You should attach a collar and ID tag to the pet so that if you’re separated, whoever finds the pet will be able to contact you and ensure that you’ll be reunited.
- Food and water: Animals need to eat and drink too. Have a bottle of fresh water for the pet with you, in case you can’t access a tap. Remember a can opener if you’re using tinned food.
- Travel crate/bedding: Remember that your animal needs to sleep – you should bring them a comfy bed too!
- Frequent bathroom breaks: This one’s all important. Act as if you’re travelling with young children, and don’t forget to clean up after your pets.