For most pets, travel by road or air is just another adventure but for others it can be a stressful time. There are a few simple things that you can do prior to travel to make the journey as stress free as possible for your pets and yourself.
In the weeks leading up to transport ensure that your animal is healthy. Check for ticks and fleas and treat where necessary. Make sure that vaccinations are up to date and if necessary have vaccinations carried out at least two weeks prior to departure.
If you have any doubts about the health of your animal you should consult your vet for advice. We do not recommend that animals be sedated for travel, if you are considering this please discuss it with your vet. It is more difficult for carers to monitor sedated animals and sedated Pets travelling at flying altitude can be susceptible to complications as well as dehydration, disorientation and travel sickness. It is important that we are informed if your animal has been sedated or has any relevant health issues.
If your pet is not used to being in a cage or crate and is going to be flying, consider purchasing a crate a few weeks before and gradually get your pet used to the crate so that it will be less stressed during the trip. It is important that your pet has the right sized crate as too small will be uncomfortable and may not be accepted by the airlines, too large and your pet will feel less secure and may be more stressed. Most animals will feel more secure in a more enclosed space.
If you are transporting cats, it is recommended that they are caught and locked inside at least the day before travel. It is common for cats to go walkabout or hide if they are unsure what is happening, as can be the case during a families moving preparations. Plan ahead and prepare a room to lock them in with easy access to water and a litter tray.
Don’t be stressed... your pets will pick up on your emotions and if you are unhappy about them leaving they will be more stressed themselves. In our experience many animals settle down very quickly once they are away from their stressed owners. This may sound callous but it is one of the most important ways that you can help us to make your pets travel easier.
Ensure that your dog has a strong well fitting collar that cannot slip over the animals head.
Please do not feed your pet a full meal in the eight hours prior to the trip unless medically required, or unless they have ample opportunity to toilet well in advance of the departure time. Especially do not over feed small pups prior to travel as this may cause them to experience some sickness and discomfort during the trip.
Do ensure your pet drinks plenty of water and is well hydrated.
If your pet is flying domestically it is not usual for a water bowl to be installed in the crate during the flight. For longer domestic flights you may choose to use a plastic bottle without any labelling or adhesive; fill it with water and deep freeze in the days leading up to departure. Secure the frozen bottle with cable ties to the inside of the crate. Condensation created with a defrosting bottle allows your pet to lick at the bottle for comfort and hydration during the trip.
You are welcome to include a blanket, toy or something your pet is familiar with in the travel crate with your pet if you wish however please ensure there are no solid objects that may move around the cage and injure your pet.
Make sure you allow time to walk and toilet your dog while you are waiting for us to arrive. The airlines will not load pets which have messed in their crate prior to departure and this may cause a postponement to a later flight.
Light exercise is OK prior to departure however heavy exercise will increase the animals requirement for re hydration
If you have any paperwork that is to go with your pets, place it in an envelope with the recipient’s name on it and give it to the driver, or tape it to the outside of the crate. Any other items such as leads, medication etc should be put in a plastic bag or similar.
If having a new pet arrive at your residence please ensure there is an ample supply of water until they become familiar with their surroundings. It is important not to over feed them once they get home. Smaller meals provided on regular basis till they are satisfied are preferable to a large meal that may cause medical issues such as twisted guts. Always monitor the intake of food and water in the first 3 days after arrival and consult a vet if you have any concerns.