Traveling with your cat or dog on assignment
Traveling with your pet by vehicle is typically easier than traveling with them by air, but is not always possible if your assignment is too far. Different pets will travel differently in vehicles; some dogs and cats are able to travel outside of their kennel while others cannot.
If your cat or dog does well during car rides, you can lay blankets or padding on the passenger seat or in the backseat so they are able to comfortably ride along. If your animal must be in a kennel, make sure they are comfortable by cushioning the hard bottom and allow for sufficient space around the kennel so that they can get enough air and do not feel closed in. Kennels should always allow enough room for the animal to stand up and turn around.
Some tips to remember when traveling with your cat or dog by vehicle:
- Allow your pet to get comfortable with the vehicle and kennel before traveling so they are less anxious.
- Cats are often more hesitant about car travel then dogs, these tips will help you get your cat comfortable with the car before your trip.
- Make sure your animal goes to the bathroom before departure and allow potty breaks along the way. Dogs can simply be walked outside to go to the bathroom, and some cats are trained to walk on a harness and will do this as well. For cats that are only litter box trained, you can bring a litter box along and allow them to use it on breaks.
- Offer your pet water on potty breaks and allow them a few minutes to stretch their legs, especially if they are riding in a kennel where mobility is limited.
Traveling by airplane
Traveling by airplane with your cat or dog is trickier because you have the airline's rules to abide by. Pet rules for different airlines vary—some only require you to register your pet if they are riding in-cabin and do not require checked pets to be registered. You should always consult your airline's pet policies to learn the rules for flying with your cat or dog and follow the airline's procedure for pet registration, etc.
Some common rules when traveling with a cat or dog by plane:
- Most airlines will let you bring one cat or small dog in a crate onto the plane to be placed under the seat in front you, like you would a carry-on bag.
- Typically, to bring an animal in-cabin you must register your pet ahead of time because there are usually limits on how many total pets can be on a flight.
- Whether flying in-cabin or checked, bringing your pet along will normally cost you $75 to $175 dollars depending on the airline.
- Some airlines do not allow pets to ride in the cargo hold. Always check the airline policy on pets before showing up to the airport with yours.
- While generally safe, there can be risks to your pet traveling in the cargo hold of an airplane. Make sure to investigate all the risks before making your decision.
Whether traveling with your pet by car or airplane, the most important thing is to provide your pet with the least stressful travel experience possible. Familiarize your animal with the travel environment the best you can and make sure their travel conditions are comfortable before heading out to your new assignment.