Perhaps you’re heading home for the holidays and can’t procure a pet sitter. Or maybe you know you’ll enjoy your upcoming vacation much more with your emotional support animal by your side.
There will likely come a time in your life as a pet parent when you have to travel with them. When that time comes, it’s crucial for the health of both you and your fur baby that you have a well-thought-out game plan for the journey.
If you’re traveling with an emotional support animal any time soon, you’ll want to check out this list of things to keep in mind ahead of time.
1. Check their Paperwork
Luckily, traveling these days with an emotional support animal is a relatively common and widely accepted practice. The proliferation of emotional support animals has brought airlines, trains, and bus companies openly stating their support.
That said, most travel companies will have certain restrictions and requirements for your emotional support animal. These could range from making sure your pet’s shots are all up-to-date to double-checking their registration at the gate.
To avoid any last-minute mishaps that might cause you to miss your flight or train, do some research on any animal limitations, as well as on how to register an emotional support animal online.
2. Talk to a Vet
Just because an animal is technically allowed to travel doesn’t always mean they should. If your pet is on the older side or has health issues of any kind, you should run the plan past your vet first.
Even if your pet is perfectly healthy, traveling can be a significant anxiety inducer for animals — just as it is for humans!
Suppose you’re worried that an onslaught of new smells and sounds might cause your emotional support animal to get, well, overly emotional. In that case, you’re going to want to explore precautionary measures to prevent a health catastrophe.
Your vet should have suggestions on medication or travel tips for reducing unsafe pet anxiety.
3. Practice Day-of Routine
Most animals behave best when they are in familiar environments. Since traveling is, by definition, very unfamiliar, you’ll want to take some steps ahead of time to get them used to what’s to come.
Most experts suggest getting them used to their carriers for some time each day. Bringing along a favorite toy or article of your clothing will also make them feel at home.
If you’re giving them any medication, definitely test that out a few days prior so that you can catch an allergic reaction at home rather than en route.
Getting them used to a food and water routine that will mimic the main event is also a bright idea.
Sharing a travel experience with your emotional support animal can be incredibly fun and a great way to build your bond with them.
To ensure the best possible vacation time for both you and your fur baby, make sure to get your proverbial ducks in a row before the big day.