A travel with your pet checklist

When you are traveling internationally and taking along your dog or cat there are a number of things you need to get in order ahead of time.

Kori the cat in a SHERPA bag

  1. Make an appointment with your vet. Make sure your pet is current on all vaccinations and travel with a proof of rabies vaccination. It’s also a good idea to get your pet microchipped and do so prior to the rabies vaccine if possible. This will not only allow your pet to be tracked should they become lost, but the immunization records will be recorded as available information on that chip.
  2. When flying be sure to book your connecting flights if there are any on the same airline. If your pet is for instance, too big to stay in a carrier on the cabin with you and winds up in the cargo hold the airline will transfer the pet to another flight they provide but not to another airline. Also, even when the pet is in an approved carrier, like the iconic SHERPA pet carrier, you may need to have your pet clear customs more than once. Research ahead of time about this procedure and what steps may be needed in the country you are visiting.
  3. Be sure to book a pet friendly hotel, whatever your destination. 
  4. Get your pet accustomed to the pet carrier or crate they will be traveling in well ahead of time. Have them use it like a bed if possible and love being in it. If you wait to spring this on them till just before you leave for the airport, they may not like being in the carrier and have a very stressful flight. Also in the future they will associate the pet carrier with a negative experience and be upset when you try to take them somewhere else, like to the vet.
  5. Figure out a head of time how you’ll be feeding your pet once you arrive at your destination. Does the country you are visiting have the correct food? In most cases you can take some dry kibble with you. Moist food is often okay as well, but check ahead of time with your airline about what you can bring along. It might well be easier to get food for your pet when you arrive where you’re visiting, but again research to see what is available where you are traveling. Changing your pet’s food suddenly can cause an upset stomach. The last thing you want when stay in a hotel is a pet that’s having gastrointestinal issues. It also might be a good idea depending on where you are going to buy bottled water for your pet to drink as native unfiltered water could upset their stomach.
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