People face special problems when they have pets and wish to travel. They may be going away for work or on vacations or even moving location. If it’s a short trip the ideal arrangement is for the animal to stay at home and have someone take care of it. Alternatives are a boarding kennel or a professional pet sitter. However there are plenty of companies who offer animal transport if you’re moving country or traveling. Or with just a few simple preparations you can take your pet with you and ensure it is comfortable and cared for every step of the way. That way your “whole” family can enjoy the vacation together. And there are a lot more destinations and facilities opening up to pet owners as tourist operators realize there is a market to cater for.

The basics

It is possible to travel with your pets and arrive at the destination happy and healthy. Actually the best way for them to travel is with you, so they retain a sense of identity while trusting in your ability to look after them. You can also have a lot of fun together enjoying the trails, parks and new locations of the world. Animals love adventure as much as their owners; particularly our canine friends. Cats, fish, birds, gerbils, hamsters and horses are amongst the most well traveled pets in the world so next time you go away, don’t forget to pack them too.

Options for beginners

If you’re concerned about moving with a pet contact a recognized operator for advice or even consider handing the task over to them. Alternatively ask friends that travel with their pets what they do or consult one of any number of published guidebooks that go through the A-Z of pet travel.

One of the easiest ways to cater for pets is to go camping. You will need to insure the local campground or national park accepts animals and what restrictions might be imposed on their behavior. Then it’s simply a means of providing for the pet while you travel with a special box or cage. If it’s a fish, hamster, turtle or other house pet you might not need to check the restrictions but you will want to get a special traveling container for them. If it’s a larger animal get them used to the box before you embark on a big journey. Do a few short trips and take them to their favorite places in the box or give them a treat at the end, so it sees it as a rewarding exercise.

There are also organized camps for dogs where you and your pet can go and have a vacation together, and undertake activities to build dog skills.

Options for advanced

Once you’ve traveled a little with your pet near to home you’ll find a new world opens up with destinations to go and things to do. Cruise ships, trains, ferries, airlines and other forms of public transport do allow you to take your pet with you. A lot of destinations are also really pet friendly for example the US, Canada and Europe particularly for smaller pets. North American places often have different policies once the pet is over 11kg. In Australia and New Zealand there tend to be a few more restrictions on taking dogs with you but there are also some of the best horse trails in the world.

If you are traveling with a seeing-eye dog there are usually more exceptions made on all forms of public transport and in hotels. Make sure you notify them of the nature of the pet in this circumstance.

Click here for Things to Consider About Pet-Friendly Vacations