Pets, especially dogs, are known to be highly dedicated to their owners. If you own one and you leave for work every day, you’ll surely find your pooch by your front door when you come home, waiting with a wagging tail. Even cats can just as be as sweet, purring as they rub their bodies against your legs.
These extremely affectionate behaviors show that your pets have missed you a lot, even if you were just out for a couple of hours. To a dog, a few minutes of your absence can already feel like a whole year! So how will they deal with the loneliness if you travel for a week or two?
Some fur-parents can take their pets on their travels. But not all pets adapt well to cars, planes, or boats. Not all accommodations allow pets too, giving owners no choice but to leave their fur-babies to another person’s care.
So if you regularly travel for work or leisure, will you able to return your pet’s dedication? Can you be a good fur-parent? Before owning a pet, consider these factors first:
1. Taking Your Pet to Your Travels Requires a Lot of Work
If you’re taking your pet abroad, you need to carefully read a country’s rules and regulations about pet immigration. Some countries require pets to be vaccinated several months before travel, or to undergo parasite testing 24–48 before your arrival. So if you haven’t done either yet, take them to the vet as soon as possible if you have a trip scheduled.
But your pet isn’t cleared for travel yet after their vaccinations and parasite testing. You need to buy them a carrier because you can’t have them sitting beside you or on your lap on the plane. This is where things can become difficult because some pets feel extremely stressed out when separated from their owners.
To ease their potential perturbation, buy the carrier days ahead of your travel, so you can introduce your fur-baby to it early. Put treats inside and encourage them to take a nap there. The more comfortable they feel in the carrier, the less stressed they would be on the day of your departure.
On the day of your flight, a lengthy procedure may occur. In accordance with the Transportation Screening Administration, you have to take your pet out of their carrier for the screening process. Socially anxious cats or dogs may be terrified if you suddenly expose them to a crowded airport, but thankfully, you can ask for a private room.
The next challenge will be boarding them into the plane. Your pet will be placed in the cargo area, where the environment might be harmful to them. Even though pet deaths in the cargo are rare, they remain a risk, so if you won’t be able to handle your apprehension and your pet’s anxiety, your fur-baby will be safer at home.
2. Traveling By Car With Your Pet May Take Forever
For road trip enthusiasts, traveling with a pet is much easier. But the downside is you’d need plenty of rest stops. Unlike humans, pets, especially dogs, cannot stay seated for long periods. They need frequent exercise, so if you usually have two rest stops for a six-hour road trip, you probably need to make that four. That will delay your arrival, but at least your dog isn’t stressed!
When making a quick stop at a convenience store or restroom, never leave your pet in the car. Heat is a serious hazard for them, potentially killing them in just under 30 minutes. Hence, if your pet will be a handful on a road trip, either leave them home or travel with a companion who can attend to your pet while you do your business.
3. Pet Care For Travelers May be Costly
In general, owning a pet may be costlier than normal if you’re a traveler. Whether you leave them at home or take them with you, you’ll need to buy supplies some pet owners can live without. Like toys, because they’ll get bored every time you’re unavailable to play with them. Their carriers might be expensive too, especially if your pet is big, or if you’re housing on more than one animal.
If you live alone and will be forced to leave your pet at home, you’d need to hire a pet-sitter. Though you can ask a family member or friend for the job for free, you’d still need to compensate them in a way.
And if your pet sheds a lot, such as an Akita, a Chow Chow, or Siberian Husky, you need to budget for their regular grooming, too. Unless you can do it yourself, then you may just buy a pair of dog shears skip the professional fees. Grooming your dog is important, or else, you may come home to a fur-covered space!
Despite the work involved in caring for a pet though, the love they’ll give you makes it worth it. So if you’re confident that you can be an active parent to them, your travels will not be a hindrance to your bond.