How to Prep for Long Travel with Pets

Tips for Driving and Flying with Your Cats and Dogs

Planning an amazing, upcoming trip? If you are like many pet owners, you take your pal along with you. Making accommodations for your pet can be tough, but by following these tips, planning will be easy. Get ready to make memories!

Make Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Wherever your destination may be, you need to be sure you know the pet policies of the hotel you stay in, nearby pet sitters, and veterinarians in case of emergencies. Try to follow your normal routine by enforcing your pet’s regular meal and walk times, which will help your pet to stay calm.

If you plan to leave your pet, do not leave it unattended. If you must go, find a sitter that can keep your pet for a couple of hours because it can be stressful for your pet to be alone in a new environment.

If you are in need of pet boarding in the Greater Morgantown area, please find the list below.

Bakers Ridge Pet Hotel
1142 Bakers Ridge Rd.

Brownie’s Bed and Breakfast
100 Jo Glen Dr.

Cheat Lake Animal Hospital
286 Fairchance Rd.

Mountain Laurel Kennels
400 Mayfield Rd.

Mountaineer Pet Care Center
241 Greenbag Rd.

Pampered 4 Paws
274 Old Cheat Rd.


Check Documentation Requirements

The last thing you want while traveling with your pet is to be surprised. Some airlines require your pet’s health and vaccination records. You can obtain these records by visiting one of Greater Morgantown’s local veterinarians. Airlines can often charge a fee for pets to travel on their planes, even if the pet is placed in the cargo space instead of with its owner in the cabin area. If you are traveling out of the country, your pet is going to need a passport. Make sure to check your own airline requirements.

Update Collar Tags

Before you leave for your trip, update your pet’s tag information with not only your permanent address and phone number, but the address and phone number that you can be reached at once you get to your destination. It’s also a smart idea to carry a photo in your wallet in case your pet gets lost.

Take Short Trips Ahead of Time

Desensitizing your pet to the car ride can help tremendously if you are patient and do it methodically,” says Carolyn Hendricks of Animal Medical Center. “If your pet has never (or rarely) been in the car, you should start by simply taking the pet to the car and sitting in it, then starting the engine, driving around the block and so forth until the pet seems comfortable with the concept (or until you’ve determined the pet will need some sort of sedation).”

Hendricks goes on to say that if your pet has anxiety issues or difficulty traveling, talk with your vet to discuss sedative prescriptions or techniques.

If you find that your pet gets motion sickness while traveling, there are nausea medications that your pet can be prescribed, but you could also try taking a few ice cubes with you for your pet instead of it drinking water. Allow small amounts of water before the trip, and a small meal a few hours before you travel by car or up to six hours before you travel by plane.


Crate Your Pet

“We recommend that pet owners always keep their pets’ carriers/crates out at all times so the pet sees them as a normal part of daily life,” states Hendricks. “When crates come out only for traveling purposes, this tends to increase the pet’s anxiety.”

Once your pet is accustomed to the crate, open the door and allow your pet to walk in itself. Placing your pet’s favorite blanket or toy in the crate may help to decrease anxiety. You can also drive your pet around in the crate before the trip to help your pet become familiar with the crate environment.

“Crating is recommended for optimum safety for both the pet and driver.  If not crating for travel, then a seatbelt restraint system should be utilized,” says Hendricks. “Pets that are allowed to roam freely during automobile travel can become a distraction to the driver (can get under foot, perch in ways that block sight line of driver and if permitted to have head or part of the body out of the window, can sustain injury or possibly even inadvertent escape).”

Walk your pet before crating to keep the excitement down. You can do this by visiting one of Morgantown’s dog parks, or if you have a cat, make sure that it gets plenty of play and exercise inside.


Create a Packing Checklist

Just like you, pets need the essentials during a long trip. Make a checklist of everything that your pet needs- this can include items such as toys, medication, food and a leash. Prepare for unforeseen events such as your pet getting a tick or fleas by packing tick remover and a flea comb. Driving? Be prepared to stop often for your pet to ensure that they have a chance to eat food, drink water, burn off extra energy, and attend to other needs while on the road.

Be prepared for traveling with your pet by following these tips, and have fun on your trip!

Other Sources:

Interested in attending more than one event this weekend? Stay overnight at one of the many hotels and lodgings in Morgantown. Click to reserve your stay.

Contact us to request to contribute to our blog.