While travel therapy often appeals to the free-spirited and adventurous professionals among us, many therapists might hesitate to try out the life of a travel therapist because they’re concerned about their favorite furry friend – no one wants to leave their lovable companion for weeks or months at a time. But thankfully, they don’t have to! Traveling with a feline or canine friend is totally possible – keep reading to learn how travel therapists can take their pets along for the ride:
Whether traveling by car or plane, it’s actually quite easy to travel with a cat, as long as the right equipment is on hand. Cats can be skittish when it comes to travel, which is why Love That Pet recommended getting the animal used to travel as soon as possible. If a kitten gets used to its travel carrier early on, it won’t be so hesitant to hop inside when it’s older. When taking an older cat on the road for the first time, it might get anxious – that’s totally normal! Travelers should take their cats for short rides before going on a long trip. That way, the cat will learn what to expect and they’ll be better-behaved when it comes time for a long-distance excursion.
When traveling in a car, USA Today suggested taking along some items that smell like home. Animals depend on their sense of smell much more than humans. Bringing along a familiar scent will help to relax their nerves. It’s also important to bring along plenty of food and water and to make sure that the car is always kept at a comfortable temperature. And before traveling, it’s always a good idea to get a check up with a veterinarian to make sure the cat is healthy and vaccinated.
When traveling by plane, some airlines will let passengers book an extra seat for the cat and carrier. It’s usually recommended that the cat receives a mild sedative before flying.
Many of the above tips also apply to dogs. The more familiar a dog is with travel, the less anxious it will be when going on a longer trip. When traveling by car, it’s important to keep the windows partially open so that there’s a constant stream of fresh air, and dogs should never be left alone in a sealed car. Even if it doesn’t feel that hot outside, the interior of a car can quickly heat up.
When crossing state lines, officials may ask to see a dog’s vaccination records. Always check with a veterinarian before traveling. In an airplane, larger dogs will usually have to fly in the cargo hold. This can be stressful – so the dog might need to take a sedative. They should also have toys to chew on, if they get nervous, reported the American Kennel Club. Note that some breeds of dogs with short snouts are not allowed on airplanes due to potential respiratory problems.
Travel therapists often need some time to settle into their new surroundings. The same goes for their pets. After arriving, it’s best to take the animal on a tour of its new surroundings. For cats, that might mean letting them explore a new apartment. For dogs, a trip around the block will ease them into a new neighborhood.