Having a pet does not have to be a problem when planning a vacation trip. Of course, some important issues must be taken into account that, planned well in advance, will help us to guarantee its success.
- Make sure the animal can make a comfortable journey: some animals should not travel because they are sick, injured, old or very temperamental. If this is the case, perhaps you should consider leaving him in the care of someone else or talk to your vet about other alternatives.
- Make sure that your pet is identified and up to date with all its sanitary and administrative obligations. If it is identified and goes missing, the chances of finding it are greatly increased. The registered data associated with the microchip must be up-to-date, and include, if possible, a mobile phone number where it is easy to locate you.
- If you plan to go to other countries, find out well in advance about the requirements that will be required of you. Remember that in the case of many European countries, a duly updated animal passport will suffice. In any case, be sure.
- Remember that you will have to check if the place of accommodation allows the possession of animals. If its size allows it, take a suitable carrier so that you can leave it inside at any time. Some hotels only allow small pets or pets under a certain weight. When you make the reservation, ask about their internal policy. Once there, try to keep the time your pet spends alone in the room as little as possible. When this is the case, inform the reception and put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door of your room. Make sure they can reach you soon if necessary.
- If you are going to stay with friends or family, inform them beforehand that you are going with your pet and make sure that it will be well received.
- If the chosen option is a campsite, regularly clean the areas used by your pet and always keep it close to you Read more
Who should you contact before starting a trip?
– With your vet
– With the company that owns the means of transport if you are not going to use your private vehicle
– With your accommodation
– With the Consulates or Embassies of the countries you are going to visit
What documentation and belongings should you bring?
– The contact telephone number of your veterinarian.
– A list of emergency veterinary clinics or 24 hours from the destination.
– Health and administrative documentation (including identification document and license for the possession of a potentially dangerous animal, if applicable). It is advisable to also bring a color photo of the animal.
– Medical history if you have any problem that needs to be known by the veterinarian at your destination in case you need clinical assistance.
– Pet items: first-aid kit and medications that you may be using, collar, muzzle, leash, bed, toys and feed.
Can you take your pet to another country?
Yes, as long as it meets the health and administrative requirements provided for in each case. As far as the European Union is concerned, these requirements are described in Regulation 998/03 , which approves the animal health regulations applicable to the movement of non-commercial companion animals.
The European Union has a web page where you can obtain more information in this regard.
The Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs has a web page that details more information regarding the departure of pets from Spain, consult it.
Can you take your pet camping?
Yes. Check with your veterinarian in case it is convenient to establish a preventive treatment against certain parasites (fleas, ticks,…) and against the diseases transmitted by them.
Make sure that your animal does not come into contact with the wildlife of the place where it is. It can be harmful, both for your pet and for the native fauna itself.
WAYS TO TRAVEL
In case of traveling by public means of transport, contact the different companies, and find out about the requirements and restrictions that may exist in each case.
A. AIRPLANE TRAVEL
How should I prepare my pet for air travel?
– Contact and inquire with the different airlines because some may have certain restrictions regarding breeds and sizes. Some require a health certificate issued within 10 days prior to travel.
– Avoid traveling with puppies under 8 weeks of age and that are not weaned.
– Talk to your vet about feeding times. Usually it is recommended to travel with a partially or completely empty stomach, although the age of the animal, its nutritional needs and its size, as well as the travel time and the distance of the flight are factors that must be taken into account.
What is the best way to choose appropriate flights for my pet?
– When you make the reservation, make it for yourself and your pet at the same time, since airlines usually limit the number of animals allowed on each flight.
– Try to book direct flights avoiding plane changes if possible.
– If possible, avoid flying on vacation days that are expected to be the most crowded.
– In hot weather, choose to travel on the first flights in the morning or the last flights in the afternoon. In cold times, choose midday flights.
– Reconfirm all the details of your reservation the day before leaving, thus minimizing the chances of last-minute changes.
What should I do on the day of the trip?
– Arrive early enough at the airport, so you have time to give your dog a good walk and exercise.
– If your dog is going to travel in the cabin, check in as late as possible to reduce the waiting time in the terminal.
– Install your pet in its cage or carrier and pick it up as soon as it arrives at its destination.
– Notify the person in charge of the flight that your pet is traveling in the cargo cabin.
Should I sedate or calm my pet for long flights?
– It is not recommended to administer tranquilizers to animals when flying because it can increase the risk of heart and respiratory problems, especially in short-nosed dogs and cats.
– Airlines can request in writing to ensure that the animal has not been sedated.
– The innate ability of animals to adapt and maintain balance can be altered by sedation and when they are transported sedated and not well restrained we may not be able to prevent them from being harmed.
What type of cage or carrier is appropriate for air travel?
– Remember that transport containers must meet the requirements set forth by IATA. Try to have it available before the trip so that your animal gets used to using it and feels comfortable.
– If your animal is small and can be properly accommodated in an approved carrier, it may be able to travel with you in the cabin.
– Appropriate conditions of the chosen container should include:
- Be high enough so that the pet can stand (without touching the ceiling), can turn and lie down.
- Be strong and free of internal protrusions and handles.
- Have the floor waterproof and with absorbent material.
- With ventilation on opposite sides and without edges or prominences that do not allow the free circulation of air.
- Be clearly labeled with the name of the owner, address and telephone number and with the destination data and with the legend LIVE ANIMAL and with arrows indicating which is the top part.
B. BOAT TRIPS
– Contact the shipping company and find out about requirements and restrictions.
– Your pet must exercise before boarding and at all stops.
– When traveling abroad, you will need to meet the health and administrative requirements provided for in each case.
– Some animals get seasick on boats. If your pet gets seasick in the car, they may also get seasick on the boat. Consult with your veterinarian about travel alternatives or appropriate medications for this problem.
C. TRAVEL BY CAR
– If your pet does not adapt well to car trips, consider whether you can leave it at home, with friends or family.
– If he doesn’t drive often, start with short trips to fun destinations like dog parks or playgrounds to get him used to driving.
– If your pet becomes dizzy, talk to your veterinarian about travel alternatives, suggestions or suitable medications for this problem.
– Make frequent stops (every two or three hours) so that your dog can exercise and rest from the trip.
– Remember that it is mandatory for your pet to travel in a carrier or properly restrained, so as to minimize the safety risks, both for it and for the rest of the occupants of the car and other drivers and road users. Do not allow them to ride on the driver’s lap or near the pedals. They must travel in their carrier or properly tied, with harnesses attached to the safety belt of the seats
– Do not allow them to travel with their heads sticking out of the windows, as well as being dangerous, dust and dirt could get into their eyes, nose and ears and cause injuries or infections.
– Cats must go in their carrier. Giving them a familiar object or a safe toy can make the trip more bearable.