10 Tips to Travel With Pets: Ultimate Guide in 2023

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Are you seeking reliable “Tips to Travel with Pets“? Look no further! 

As a seasoned pet care expert, I’ve combined years of research, consultations with animal health professionals, and firsthand experiences to craft this guide. 

From microchips to taking regular breaks, this guide will reveal all you need to know and give the best expert-curated tips, surveys, polls, and recommendations…

Get ready to turn your travel worries into a memorable, stress-free journey with your furry friends!

FYI, this post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you purchase at no extra cost.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure Pet Identification: Proper identification is key to pet safety during travel. Ensure your pet is microchipped, tagged, and wearing a collar.
  • Prioritize Pet Health: Regular consultations with your vet, customized feeding routines, and taking necessary breaks can ensure a smooth journey.
  • Consider Your Pet’s Unique Needs: Each pet is unique and requires different care. Consider your pet’s personality, health status, and needs when planning your journey.

Get ready for the ultimate traveling experience with these 10 super tips!

10 Tips to Travel With Pets in 2023

Bringing your pet along on vacation can enhance your experience. But to make it perfect, strategic planning is essential. 

To achieve this, here are 10 of my favorite tips (and they never disappoint!)…

Tip #1: Ensure you have a microchip, collar, and tags.

Check that your pet is microchipped and registered and that the chip details are “up to date.” 

Knowing this, you’ll be easy to reach if your friend is lost and spotted (perhaps by a shelter or a veterinary practice). 

Securing your pet with a microchip and collar isn’t just responsible; it’s an act of love. After all, you would want your furry friends safe and by your side when you set off on your travels, don’t you?

brown dog with a red and black collar

Not only will you ensure your friend is safe, but you’ll present yourself as a responsible and loving pet parent…

Tip #2: Check with your veterinarian.

Traveling can be stressful at times. 

A proactive health approach will help your pet have an enjoyable travel experience and prepare you for any eventuality. 

That’s why it’s crucial to talk with your veterinarian about potential health issues (or special needs) that might come up during your journey.

This step is essential because it helps you understand your pet’s medical condition better and gives you an insight into any potential health issues that might surface during the journey. 

Discussing medications with your vet will provide travel-friendly remedies and advice for managing stress – plus the necessary health certificates required (as I mentioned above) for traveling interstate or internationally.

Tip #3: Monitor their health

As an avid traveler and pet parent, I understand the joy of sharing holiday experiences abroad with my pets during the summer.

You could as well – But take note of their age! If they’re too old or frail, don’t force them! 

The wise words of Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinary health expert with Rover, come to mind:

“The most important thing that people need to know is that dogs are individuals and not every dog will be a good fit for every situation. [1].” 

As a proud pet lover, I agree – constantly tailor your approach to your pet’s unique needs, temperament, and age. 

Tip #4: Keep the leash on during walks

If a dog has bitten you, you’ve certainly wondered why the owner didn’t use a leash to secure the pet. It doesn’t have to happen! You and those around you will be safe by taking proper precautions.

In support of this, pet experts suggest you always watch your animal for walks without a leash to anticipate any problems. 

man walking his dog on a leash

If you don’t have a leash (or cannot get one!), ensure your pet is secured and cannot attack strangers nearby.

Tip #5: Buy a pet carrier 

Proper conditioning allows the carrier to become a safe haven for your pet during travel. It ensures your pet’s safety and helps avoid driver distractions.

Better yet, if the pet gets lost – or during an emergency – you want your pet to be safely secured and ready to be evacuated if necessary. 

As Samantha Bell, cat expert for Best Friends Animal Society, advises, “I leave a cat carrier out in my home 24/7, so it’s part of the cats’ environment, versus something that only comes out for ‘scary’ reasons. [2]” 

Tip #6: Take breaks while traveling in a car

Remember, pets need downtime too. 

Consistently scheduled breaks also maintain a routine, which can help soothe your pet’s anxiety and give you the time to nurture it.

lady and her dog having a break while traveling

For example, car stops offer an excellent opportunity for pets to stretch, eat a snack (or drink water)…

Tip #7: Plan your meals

Adapt your pet’s feeding schedule while traveling to prevent motion sickness. 

If you do, you are less likely to face the unpleasant surprise of a pet with an upset stomach while on the road. 

If your pet has dietary sensitivities, consult your vet on the best food options.

Additionally, if your cat is old with missing teeth, opt for an easily digestible food source, such as food for senior cats with no teeth [3].

Tip #8: Know the rules for pets on the plane

Each airline has specific pet travel requirements. Your pet’s health and safety should always come first, even when this means adjusting our travel plans. 

So, to ensure a smooth journey, familiarize yourself with the airline’s pet policy in advance.

Dr. Maranda Elswick, The Meowing Vet, affirms, “The best way to ensure that your pet is safe during travel is to keep them with you in the cabin. [4]” 

Do you have a small pet? Then check the airline’s regulations. Sometimes they allow (and this is perhaps the safest way) your pet in the cabin with you. 

If your pet is elderly, unwell, or has breathing issues, it might be best to consider alternatives.

Tip #9: Consider the special needs of cats

Cats can have unique travel concerns. 

Dr. Jeff Smith, a veterinarian at Danville Family Vet in Danville, Virginia, reminds us, “With a little preparation, flying with a cat can be a pleasurable experience rather than a stressful and scary nightmare. [2]”

By catering to your cat’s specific needs, you can make the travel experience less stressful for your feline friend. 

ginger cat inside a car

You can also try other options (i.e., catnip or synthetic feline facial pheromones) to ensure your cat is comfortable. 

Tip #10: Protect against diseases and pests

Certain regions pose different risks of pests and diseases. Always stay vigilant and informed about potential health risks in the area you’re traveling to. 

Also, it’s worth emphasizing the importance of gaining knowledge about possible health hazards at your intended destination and implementing necessary precautions. 

This strategy is highly effective in maintaining the health and safety of your pet.

Remember to check in with your vet for region-specific precautions, such as flea, tick, heartworm treatments or additional vaccinations.

For a comprehensive review, here’s a clever table of tips!

Tip NumberTip DescriptionKey Points
1Make sure you have a microchip, collar, and tagsEnsure pet is microchipped and registered, collar secured, phone number and medical labels visible on tags
2Check with your veterinarianConsult your vet for potential health issues, travel-friendly medications, and necessary health certificates
3Monitor Their HealthCheck if they are healthy. Take precautions if your pet is older or avoid flying with them altogether.
4Keep the leash on during walksKeep an eye on your pet during leash-free walks, and allow time to adapt to new environments
5Buy a pet carrierTrain your friend to get comfortable in the carrier before your trip
6Take breaks while traveling in a carSchedule regular breaks, allow pets to stretch and hydrate, and clean up after your pet
7Plan your mealsAdapt their feeding schedule to prevent motion sickness, and consult your vet for the best food options
8Know the rules for pets on the planeUnderstand the airline’s pet travel requirements, consider the pet’s health and safety
9Consider the special needs of catsCater to your cat’s specific needs, consider options such as catnip or synthetic feline facial pheromones
10Protect against diseases and pestsCheck in with your vet for region-specific precautions, such as flea, tick, heartworm treatments or additional vaccinations.

To charm your visual senses, I’ve saved the best for last – explore this video to see all these tips in action!

6 Tips For Keeping Your Pet Calm & Secure During Air Travel

The next hurdle after the Pre-Flight Planning phase is the stress of the actual flight. 

senior couple in a plane with their dog

Remember, if you think air travel is stressful, imagine how it feels for your pets! Here I’ll share expert-recommended tips to ensure a smooth journey.

1. Pre-Flight Exercise

Start hours before you reach the airport. A long play session in the park or an extended walk can help your pet feel ready to rest once on board.

2. Pre-Flight Diet

Don’t spoil your furry friend with treats before the flight. 

Avoid feeding your pet within four to six hours of the trip. Hydration, however, remains crucial.

3. Find a Quiet Spot

Through all the noise, find a quiet corner to relax in before your flight. 

This can help prevent your friend from being exposed to overwhelming noise and limit contact with strangers who might want to pet them, potentially increasing their anxiety (not good!).

4. Consider Anxiety Wraps

Some pet owners swear by anxiety wraps like ThunderShirts

Remember that these are only for pets traveling in the cabin, as airlines do not permit animals to wear any apparel in the cargo hold.

5. Comforting Your Pet During the Flight

Your pet should remain in their carrier during the flight. If they become agitated, try to soothe them gently by reaching inside their page.

6. Stay Calm

Your emotional state can significantly impact your pet’s behavior. 

You’ll notice that your pets are highly attuned to our emotions – so staying calm can assist your furry friend to feel more composed during the flight.

4 Tips For Ensuring Your Pet’s Comfort & Safety During Car Travels

Just like air travel, car travel with pets has unique challenges. But don’t worry! My tried-and-tested tips will guide you toward a smoother journey!

dog using fleece liner as a car seat's protector

1. Familiarize Your Pet with the Vehicle

Before embarking on a long journey, introduce your pet to your vehicle during shorter trips. This familiarity can significantly reduce their anxiety.

2. Watch the Temperature

Never leave your pet in your car, especially when it’s hot outside. The temperature inside a parked car can rise to a dangerous level.

3. Keep Their Heads Inside

While pets might enjoy sticking their heads out the window, it can be dangerous. Debris can cause injury, and sudden braking can risk your pet’s safety.

4. Stay Calm and Enjoy the Ride

Your pet, sensitive to emotions, will sense something is off – so stay relaxed and enjoy the journey.

My pets always seem to feel my stress. When I stay calm and enjoy the ride, they do too.

Now, let’s head off to the frequently asked questions to find answers to common hurdles…

Check out this article for more foolproof ways to protect pets while traveling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Items should I pack when traveling with my pet friend?

You should pack essentials like food, water, pet-safe sunscreen, travel-sized toys, waste bags, and a comfortable bed. 
Always bring any necessary medications and a copy of your pet’s medical records.

How can I ensure my pet is comfortable during the journey?

Maintain familiarity by having your pet’s favorite toys or blanket on hand. 
Schedule regular breaks for stretching, hydration, and waste management. If your pet gets anxious, consider calming treats or toys.

Is it safe to take my furry friend on a flight?

Yes, if you take proper precautions!
Ensure your pet is comfortable in its carrier and familiarize them with it before the flight. Always check the airline’s pet policy in advance.

Summing Up

After mastering the tips to travel with your pets, you’re almost ready to book that flight! But first – and before you leave – let me summarize it all…

As you’ve learned, traveling with your pet can make your journey more enjoyable. But remember, a happy pet makes for a happy journey. 

Being a responsible pet owner means considering their dietary needs, health, and safety. 

By following these tips, you’ll ensure a joyful vacation for both you and your furry friend.

So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment and tell me how you adore my article…

Until next time!

couple shopping for hamster's cage


1. Bender K. Everything You Need to Know About Traveling on a Plane with Your Dog [Internet]. PEOPLE.com. 2018 [cited 2022 Jul 17]. Available from: https://people.com/pets/dog-plane-travel-rules-rights/

2. Conklin LM, May 09. Flying with a Cat: 19 Things to Know Before Taking Your Pet on a Plane [Internet]. Reader’s Digest. 2023 [cited 2023 May 26]. Available from: https://www.rd.com/list/flying-with-a-cat/

3. https://www.facebook.com/catfoodpoint. 10 Best Cat Foods for Cats with No Teeth (2023) – Cat Food Point [Internet]. Catfoodpoint. 2023 [cited 2023 May 26]. Available from: https://www.catfoodpoint.com/best-cat-foods-for-cats-with-no-teeth/

4. Nast C. Everything to Know About Flying With A Dog [Internet]. Condé Nast Traveler. 2017. Available from: https://www.cntraveler.com/story/flying-with-a-dog-everything-you-need-to-know

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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