It’s that glorious time of year again – the festive season! If you adore travelling with your pet, then this article is defs for you.
I simply love road tripping and jet setting across sunny South Africa; and let’s face it – a lekker long weekend away with your phenomenal pet is absolute splendour!
So no matter if you’re travelling with your pet to the bushveld, ocean, mountains or to one of South Africa’s many rivers – you’re OF COURSE still responsible for your pet’s contentment and comfort.
So here’re my top tips for travelling with your pet like a pro within the border of our scenic country – be it half a day by car or few hours by plane.
CAR TRAVEL WITH PETS
• WHAT YOU NEED
ID TAGS, HARNESSES & LEADS
Cats of course need protection too. I treasure the ROGZ REFLECTIVE HARNESS, because it prevents my cat from making a reckless run for it.
CARRIERS & BLANKETS
When travelling with your cat – a PET CARRIER is a must. I always fill baby-bear’s carrier with soft blankets to help ensure for those cosy and content travel vibes.
Carriers are great for dogs too, but if you’ve decided to go with the DRIVE DOG HARNESS option, why not add blankets on the seats to provide your dogs with a dash of added comfort?
If your car seats mean the world to you, then protect them from muddy paws and sharp claws with a SEAT PROTECTOR – life’s just too short to cry over scraped leather.
NOTE – NEVER let your pets roam freely in the vehicle please, because safety first.
Some pets just aren’t fantastic travellers, and travelling with your pet should be fun for both parties. ePETstore boasts a variety of vet recommended DOG and CAT anxiety products that really work wonders.
Keeping pets hydrated and fed during your journey is vital. Luckily TRAVEL BOWLS are specially designed to make this said task super easy.
CALL OF NATURE
NOTE – Having a black bag in your car is the way to go. Trash cans are rather rare when we actually need them.
Control that classic runny tummy before / after the drive with DIGESTIVE CARE dog food. These wonderful diets help to prevent an upset stomach from spoiling the trip. Looking for a mighty meal to bust stomach upsets? Then give the ROYAL CANIN INTESTINAL range a try – they DO require a vet prescription, but are toats worth the trouble.
If diarrhea is still lurking in their intestinal shadows, a FIRST AID KIT is a miraculous item to own. Have a look at ePETstore’s other brilliant EMERGENCY products to treat unwanted cuts, burns, bruises and tummy upsets too.
Even though most car windows block out UV rays, one can sustain long term skin damage. So … if your pet is prone to sunburn, like mine, I definitely recommend using a PET SUNSCREEN in the car.
• ON TRAVEL DAY
All great journeys begin and end by using the loo. Have them answer the call of nature before getting in the car, many times in between and first thing when you’ve arrived at your destination. An empty bladder prevents UTI’s and other health problems from surfacing.
Having them get loads of exercise before the trip also reduces hyperactivity, stress and anxiety.
When stopping for takeout or to buy cooldrink – NEVER EVER leave your pet in the car alone! The temperature in the car sky rockets, and cracking a car window really sounds more impressive than it is. But truth be told – it isn’t nearly enough to keep them cool and can be fatal.
Once you’ve reached your final destination, reward them with treats and hugs. If you’re staying with friends, family or at a pet friendly hotel – keep your pets on their leashes until they’ve acclimatized to the new environment and unfamiliar people.
• THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO IN THE CAR
NEVER fully open your car window. Pets are always tempted to stick their heads out and that’s a big no-no, as they could become seriously injured.
Also NEVER let your pets ride on your lap, stand on the console between seats or leave them to roam freely in the car – as all these actions could be distracting to the driver and dangerous to the passengers.
AIR TRAVEL WITH PETS
• WHAT YOU NEED
CARRIERS & TRAVEL KITS
The most important item to safely travel the skies, would be an APPROVED CARRIER. Bid Air Cargo requires absorbent material at the bottom of the crates, as well as water and food bowls attached to the mesh, thus investing in a TRAVEL KIT is a wonderful plan.
Make sure your chosen carrier has enough space for your pet to be able to stand, and turn around in, otherwise it’s not a carrier – but a joke.
NOTE – Already own a carrier? Check if it’s airline approved here.
BLANKETS, JACKETS, HARNESSES & LEADS
NOTE – Don’t sedate your pets, unless done under a vet’s supervision! The combination of drugs and altitude could be fatal.
VACCINATIONS & VET VISITS
AND last but not least – they need a vaccination booklet. Make an appointment with your vet, not less than 14 days before your flight and have them vaccinated.
NOTE – By law all cats and dogs must be vaccinated against RABIES in South Africa.
Speak to your vet about snub nosed animals, as many of them have a difficulty breathing above the clouds. If you have older pets, or a young pet that has fallen victim to a germ or bug – always consult your vet to see if they recommended having these pets take to the skies.
Have a look at Bid Air’s other PET TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS.
• BOOKING THEIR FLIGHT
Book with Bid Air Cargo at least 48 hours prior to your flight, to secure a seat for your pet-baby in the designated area of the plane.
No matter where you’re departing from, always book via JHB Pet Lounge at (011 230 4600). When booking your own ticket, consider booking with an airline that allows animal cargo, e.g. Kulula or BA Comair (British Airways), this way your pet is booked onto the same aircraft as you, making their journey much shorter and tolerable.
• ON TRAVEL DAY
Before having your pets enter their first-class carriers, it’s vital for them to use the loo, as there is nowhere to go once in the crate. Make sure they get loads of exercise before their aerial adventure, to ensure for a sleepy pet between the clouds.
On your day of departure, your pets need to be checked in at the Bid Air Pet Lounge 2 hours before your flight. This is non-negotiable. To find a lounge near you CLICK HERE. Don’t forget to pack their vaccination booklets.
FAQ’s ABOUT AIR TRAVEL FOR PETS
How young is too young?
Puppies and kittens can fly from 8 weeks of age. If your pet is under 3 months, you’ll need a clear, legible copy of their mother’s vet booklet.
May two pet siblings travel in the same crate?
A maximum of two adult animals of comparable size up to 14kg each, that are compatible (dog & dog / cat & cat) may be shipped in the same container. Animals over that weight must travel individually.
A maximum of two animals from 8 weeks up to 6 months old from the same litter, up to 14 kg’s each, that are compatible (dog & dog / cat & cat) may be shipped in the same container.
Cats over the age of 2 years may not fly in the same container.
How much does the flight cost?
It depends on the weight and size of your animal and crate.
AN ADDITIONAL READ
If you’d love to read more about travelling with your pet – DO check out this LINK – it’s brilliant.