Pets are pretty intelligent and are probably already used to travelling. Whether it be to the vet, to the park, or even to the grocery store, most pets have been exposed to travelling. These expeditions are pretty short, though, so we understand that if faced with going on a long journey, you are unsure which would work better – going by air or by ground.
Pets have their own personalities, preferences, and peculiarities. Recognising these traits and moving to accommodate them would be a major factor in deciding which method is best. Regardless of how long the trip is, making the right choice can minimise stress and enhance the joy of travel for both you and your pet.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the two most prominent forms of travel for pets – air travel and ground travel.
AIR TRAVEL FOR PETS
- Speed and efficiency
A major advantage of air travel is its speed. It is perfect for those who want to minimise travel time and get to the fun part of their journey faster.
- Long-distance travel capabilities
Air travel opens up a world of possibilities for you and your pet, making it a practical choice when distances are long.
- International travel possibilities
Dreams of exploring far-off lands will no longer be a dream when you travel by air. All you and your pet will need to do is hop on a plane and get to the destination of your choice!
- Stress and anxiety for pets
While we humans might find the hustle and bustle of airports exciting, our pets experience it differently. The noise, unfamiliar surroundings, and separation anxiety can lead to stress.
- Potential health risks
Pets can experience health challenges like dehydration and changes in air pressure. You will have to make sure that your pet is fit for travel by consulting a vet.
- Strict airline regulations and requirements
All airlines have rules regarding pet travel, and they are not shy about enforcing them. From specific carrier dimensions to health certificates, it can be daunting to navigate these.
PREPARING FOR AIR TRAVEL
A lot of stress and anxiety you and your pet experience before going on a plane can be dealt with if the right preparations are made. So let’s go through some of the important ones:
Research airline policies
As previously mentioned, all airlines have their own set of regulations and guidelines you will need to follow before you can travel with a pet. Make sure to check the size and weight restrictions, as well as the carrier requirements. They will also have their certificates required before your pet is allowed on board.
Get your pet used to the carrier
Once you have found the perfect carrier that fits the requirements, it is time to start introducing your pet to it. Gradually show the pet the carrier while allowing them to explore it to ensure that it is safe. Use positive reinforcement to show that the carrier is not a dangerous or scary object.
You can also put in the favourite toys and blankets of your pet so that the carrier has a scent of familiarity.
Check-in with the vet:
It is important to make sure that your pet is cleared to fly on an airline. This is where the visit to the vet comes in. You will need to discuss this with the vet and make sure that the pet is safe to fly. It is also necessary to visit the vet to make sure that you have all the necessary documents needed by both the airline and the destination to which you are going.
GROUND TRAVEL FOR PETS
- Familiarity and comfort
Ground travel allows your pet to stay grounded, surrounded by familiar sights and smells of their daily life. It provides a sense of safety and comfort.
- Flexibility in planning and stops
You can hit the road at your own pace. Ground travel gives you the freedom to plan your trip with as many rest stops as you and your pet need.
- More economical
If you are travelling short distances, it is a lot easier and cheaper to go via ground travel. You will not have to pay the extra fee for carrying a pet, along with all the health checkups that you would have to do.
- Time-consuming, especially for long-distances
Road trips are leisurely endeavours, perfect for anyone who wants to have a scenic journey. However, if the distance is long, the hours on the road can add up. Proper planning, frequent breaks, and a comfortable travel environment can help deal with this issue.
- Limited international travel options
Crossing borders by road can be a challenge for pets due to the variety of international regulations you will have to deal with. While some countries welcome pets by road, others have strict requirements or quarantine periods. It is important to do the research and preparation before embarking on the journey.
- Potential for motion sickness
Just like humans, animals can experience motion sickness during car rides. Keep an eye on your pet’s behaviour and consider consulting a vet for advice on alleviating motion sickness. Another way to handle this is by slowly getting your pet used to it by doing short practice drives.
PREPARING FOR GROUND TRAVEL
Ensuring the safety of the vehicle
Safety is the most important thing. Just as you have to buckle up before going on a drive, your pet needs to be buckled too. Invest in a secure harness or an appropriate carrier to keep your pets safe and snug during the journey. It will also prevent any distractions and keep them safe if there are sudden stops.
Plan frequent breaks so your pets can stretch their legs! Plan stops for short walks, bathroom breaks, and a bit of playtime. It will not only help your pet stay active but will also prevent any restlessness during the journey.
Pack a pet-friendly picnic by bringing your pet’s regular food to maintain their diet. Ensure that there is an ample supply of fresh water to keep them hydrated. Familiar toys will provide comfort and keep them entertained.
Be prepared for the unexpected by having a first-aid kit on hand. The kit should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, any necessary medications, and your vet’s contact information. You will be able to handle any minor issue with this and it will give you some peace of mind while on the road.
CONSIDER YOUR PET’S PERSONALITY AND HEALTH
Assess your pet’s temperament
There are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself about your pet before they travel.
- How does your pet react to new environments?
- Is your pet comfortable in a carrier or a crate?
These two questions will help solve a lot of the doubts and problems you will face when travelling with a pet. They will be introduced to new places, people, and foods, so it is important that they get used to it. Since they will be travelling in a carrier or a crate while travelling, they should be comfortable enough to be enclosed in such a space.
A trip to the vet is highly recommended before going on a trip. Discuss your travel plans with the vet to make sure that your pet is given the green light for travel. The vet will also be able to give you advice on what types of situations you might face and how they might be navigated. Make sure to discuss any health issues and concerns that you have beforehand and keep up with all the necessary vaccinations.
To make sure that both you and your pet can truly enjoy the journey without any worries or issues, it is important that you properly plan your travel. Now that we have listed out the pros and cons of both methods of travel, it is up to you to choose the best fit for your pet. Rest assured, if you are worried about travelling by air, all you have to do is contact us! We will make sure that your pet is safe and secure throughout the whole journey. Book us today!