Everyone deserves a chance to travel at least once in their lifetime. But it can be a completely different experience when you’re doing so with a pet. More specifically, a furry companion that needs some additional care and attention.
With 37% of animal owners traveling with their pets in 2018, it’s undeniable that the travel industry is becoming more pet-friendly. Whether you want to avoid a kennel fee, or because traveling with your pet is something that you really enjoy. Bringing your animal with you can truly change your journey for the better— if the planning process is executed properly.
When it comes to traveling with a pet that is disabled, it can be really difficult due to medical concerns and requirements they may have. Since you’ll be on the go, your usual routine will then be disrupted, which can cause your pet to become nervous in the new environments you will be traveling to. But it’s important to remember your role as an owner, and that there isn’t anyone else who would be able to take care of your pet as well as you do, even away from home.
Here are some tips for traveling with a disabled pet:
Make a Checklist
As a disabled pet owner, only you have the exact knowledge on what they need. So it’s your responsibility to prepare and pack everything they can’t go without (while remembering to bring what you need to have an amazing vacation too!) To ensure you’re not forgetting important medications, harnesses, splints or wheelchairs, write a list of what your pet uses on a daily basis. If you’re flying make sure you put the important items in your carry-on. You don’t want to risk the possibility of losing something your pet needs. As you pack, check off each item to remind yourself that they are set and ready to go.
Pack Items That Remind Them of Home
Most of the time, home is where we feel the most relaxed and comfortable, and this is usually the same for your pet. To make them feel more comfortable while navigating the airport, staying in a hotel and exploring an unfamiliar location, bring something with you that will remind them of home, like their dog bed, favorite toy, or blanket. These items can easily pick up familiar scents that smell like home.
Prepare for Unexpected Expenses
Traveling itself brings on several additional costs that you have to budget for, but with a pet by your side, their necessities could increase your spending tendencies even more. Before detailing your trip, allocate enough of your savings toward your excursion while keeping your pet needs in mind. To make your financial strategy easier to maintain away from home, prepare in advance by using a budgeting journal or notebook to write an outline of the things you may need to purchase for both you and your furry-friend. Supply your smartphone with financial tools you can use conveniently, like a mobile bank account with zero fees that can monitor your transactions or with an app that can help you stay consistent with your budget.
Research Pet-Friendly Housing
When booking travel perks, it’s important to not only schedule a stay somewhere that accepts pets, but also coordinate an option that is easily accessible. For animals who use wheelchairs or have trouble walking, this is extremely vital. Call ahead to the hotel. The more information you can provide ahead a time to the hotel manager, the better prepared they’ll be. And the more likely they will be able to accommodate your requests when you arrive with your pet. Remember to be flexible with the options they offer. Many travel related arguments cause stress-inducing situations or conversations, leading to less pet-friendly resources.
Communicate With Your Vet
Before leaving, it may be beneficial to talk with your vet about your travel plans. This is a great opportunity to converse with a professional about any concerns, or medical information that you may have or need when you’re traveling with your pet. If you don’t have any specific questions for your vet, they may still have some information or additional advice to share with you. Be honest about your itinerary. Listen, and be open with the aspects of traveling that you might be uncomfortable with when it comes to having an animal with you.