Tips for travelling with your pet

Many frequent travellers think they can’t share their lives with a pet because it may be a hassle to take their pet on trips. But there’s no need to miss out on travel or a furry friend. Here’s our guide on how to easily travel with your pet by car or plane.

If your pet enjoys or at least tolerates riding in the car, then road trips are probably the most pleasant way to travel with your pet. Your dog or cat can be a great travel companion if you follow these simple tips:

Keep their happiness a top priority when choosing activities. The best trips with your pets are always full of fun plans for you both. If you love hikes, the beach or strolling through the city, go on these outings to be with your pooch. Remember, you’re your pet’s favourite person.

If you’re looking for pet friendly hotels and things to do, BringFido has details on attractions, restaurants, accommodations and more.

Find a trusted pet sitter. If you have plans to go places without your bestie for more than several hours, hire a trusted pet sitter. It’s helpful to research pet sitters in your destination or to make day care reservations ahead of time. You can also board your pup overnight at many facilities, with most requiring vaccines against bordetella and other transmissible illnesses.

Many social dogs thrive in day care settings; others would do better with one-on-one care from a pet sitter. Consider your pet’s personality when brain storming pet sitting options.

Put your pet’s safety first. Your pet should be safely restrained while you drive. Car seat belts and air bags aren’t created with animal safety needs in mind. Luckily, there’s a number of car restraint options for your pet to stay protected and ride comfortably.

Safety harnesses specifically designed for dogs offer better protection than seatbelts but can limit your dog’s movement. Some animals may prefer to ride in crates or kennels with safety attachment points, because they can sit up and recline comfortably.

Be sure to bring a digital copy of your pet’s medical and vaccination records. Include other essentials in your packing list such as medications, an extra collar and leashes in case one breaks, doggy waste bags, portable bowls and an emergency stash of bottled water.

Flying with your pet safely takes a lot of preparation. You should also know that it will be an incredibly stressful experience for your dog or cat. That said, only consider flying if driving isn’t feasible and you can’t leave your loved one with a trusted pet sitter.

Keep your plans on schedule and make sure your pet has everything they needs to fly by following these steps:

  • Check in with your airline on what the requirements are for bringing a pet along. Many airlines allow pets small enough to stow under the seat in a carrier to fly with you in the cabin for an additional fee. Only a handful of airlines allow passengers to purchase a seat for their pet under certain restrictions.
  • Consider the time of day you will be flying. Cargo holds are not climate controlled and overheating is dangerous for your pet’s health. If you are travelling somewhere hot, book a flight early in the morning or late at night to protect your loved one.
  • Schedule an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian within about ten days of your flight. Most airlines require a health certificate issued by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian will give your pet a physical exam and ensure your pet is up to date on his vaccines. Be sure to check with your airline on how recent the health certificate must be to be valid.
  • Ask your veterinarian if mild sedatives may be ideal for your pet. While it’s never a good idea for your pet to fly tranquilized, medication to sedate your pet may be an option. Your veterinarian may prescribe a medication such as trazadone to calm your pet.
  • Make sure your family member is as comfortable as possible. Purchase a sturdy crate and familiarize your pet with the crate well before the trip. Including a blanket or other item with a familiar smell may help ease her nerves. Allow your pet to relieve herself and get some exercise before boarding the plane.

You should know that when you travel outside of your home province, your government health insurance plan may not fully cover you during a medical emergency. Travel insurance by Allianz Global Assistance can help you fill the coverage gaps. You can’t look after your fur family of you’re not healthy. We may also reimburse up to $500 the cost of returning your pet(s) travelling with you, should you need to return to Canada due to a covered emergency.

Get a travel insurance quote today to find out how we can make your next trip stress free.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.
Travel protected with Allianz Global Assistance
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