Many of us pet owners face a problem when we want to travel with our pets. Be it migration or just a short family trip, we always try to bring our pets. Well seasoned owners will know the procedures when bringing their pet overseas. But what about the rest of us who may not be as clear on what to do?
Well, clearing the border is a challenge itself as you must familiarize yourself with the local and foreign country customs law. But another major hurdle is the transport. It is important to know what the rules and regulations the flight you are taking have. Most flights such as Singapore Airlines do not allow animal carriages in the cabin and instead require your pet to be checked-in to the cargo hold. It always a good habit to let your travel agent and/or the airline office know that you will be bringing your pet on board. This is to ensure that there is space available and they can advice you on your pet travel.
Always check if you require any health certificate and or other documents that the foreign country and flight needs to prevent any unwanted surprises.
Crating Your Pet
Some of us may have seen on TV, videos or even real life where people bring their pets in crates, and their pets are amazingly calm and well-behaved. Of course this behavior is through training. If you are going to travel with your pet often, especially on flights where crating your pet is a must, you have to start training it as soon as possible.
It is a habit for many of us to project our own assessment on situations from our perspective to another, for example being in a crate for the duration of the flight is a bad thing. However it is absolutely essential that you do not let your pet feel anxious or something is wrong when you place them in the crate.
Here’s a wikihow for crate training your dog:
As most pets will be travelling in the cargo hold, it is important ensure your pet has access to water during the flight as you will be unable to access the cargo hold throughout the duration of your flight. Ensure your pet has enough water to hydrate itself throughout the duration of the flight. Toilet training is a definite so your pet doesn’t end up making a mess in his crate and getting very uncomfortable. For car trips, avoid starting the the trip on a full stomach, and make a pit stop as close to the departure time as possible. It’s advisable to let your pet fast for at least 6 hours before the trip.
Just Before The Trip
By now your pet should be comfortable with it’s crate, being alone and also have a more controlled bowel movement
As cats are more independent and comfortable with small spaces, placing them in cages is usually no issue. For dogs, avoid making a huge goodbye scene especially at the airport. On that note, most airports are not pet-friendly make sure you crate your pet before going inside. For airports that are pet-friendly, it is still a good idea to crate up your pet as they may get lost in the chaotic environment.
If you are going to be staying in a rental apartment, hotel or any other temporary lodging, make sure they allow pets and double check with reviews like how you would before booking the hotel. There has been cases where hotels claim to be pet-friendly and collect a deposit, but when the visitor comes with their pet, the hotel staff claim it is not, resulting in the forfeit of the deposit and a very unpleasant experience.
Always have at least 1 back-up hotel in the event of an unpleasant experience.
At The Destination
Remember when you first brought your pet home? Your dog curiously sniffed everywhere, your cat looked for a nice box to hide. It’s the same thing when you bring your pet over to the new hotel. But this time, the whole environment is unfamiliar, so it is extremely important you keep your pet under control and ensure it does not misbehave.
Make sure that in the hotel room, you are the only one moving and it is waiting, get your scent everywhere so it will feel more comfortable. Be assertive and show you are in control of the environment. It is also good to have a collapsible pet tent to keep any potential mess contained within an area. For cats, it is definitely good to have the pet tent to prevent your cat from escaping the room when housekeeping comes in when you are not around. It is definitely not fun looking for an escaped pet in a hotel/apartment.
Go for a long walk to relieve all that pent up energy your pet accumulated, especially so for dogs. Keep an eye out for potentially dangerous items to your pet and remain vigilant. Your cat may just want to rest at home, but it is good to bring it out for a walk to familiarize itself with the environment. It will be ideal to leash train your cat so you can keep it in control.
This is just some bits of things you should note when travelling, but of course get more specific information on the place you are travelling to as well as your pet’s personality. Treat the trip as part of routine to calm yourself. If you’re calm, your dog will be calm too and calm is good.
-The PROTAG Team