When it comes to travelling home and abroad, pet owners have to consider their animal’s welfare, as well as their own.
Here are our top tips on how to ensure that you and your pets enjoy stress-free, safe travel.
Vaccinations and microchipping
Have your pet microchipped and registered at your destination address in case he goes walkabout while you’re there.
Check that all your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and ensure that he won’t need immunising against any other diseases that are prevalent in your destination location.
Taking pets abroad
If you’re travelling abroad, keep your pet’s vaccination certificates with you on your journey; most countries will ask for proof of your pet’s immunisation at interstate crossings and airports.
The first thing you should note is that your pet might have to go into quarantine when you land abroad and when you return home, even if you have a valid pet passport.
If you try to take your pet into a country while circumventing their quarantine laws, your pet will be confiscated, and you will be prosecuted.
Road and rail travel
If you’re travelling by car or train, take the following items with you:
• bottled water
• pet food and bowl
• first-aid kit (available from your vet)
• plastic bags and a scoop
• your pet’s bed
If your pet is not used to car travel, make a few short practice trips in advance of your trip.
Cats should travel in securely closed pet carriers. Place the carrier on the back seat behind the passenger seat and secure it with the seatbelt.
Feed your pet several hours before you travel so that he won’t vomit or mess if he becomes stressed.
Most airlines insist that pets travel as cargo, so try to find a direct flight in case your pet gets left behind or misrouted during the change-over.
Make sure that your pet carrier is clearly labelled with your name, destination, mobile phone number, and pet’s name. Use a permanent marker to draw arrows indicating the upright position of the carrier and write ‘Live Animal’ on all sides.
Line the carrier with ‘puppy pads’ to absorb any accidents.
Close the carrier securely, but don’t lock it. If there’s an emergency, the airline staff will need to evacuate your pet.
Rather than sedating your pet, use a calming pheromone spray around the inside of the carrier. Sedation can cause breathing difficulties when the pressure inside the cargo hold changes during the flight.
Travelling with your pet need not be stressful for either of you!
Prepare well in advance of your journey, and follow our top tips for a hassle-free trip.