Pet Travel: How To Bring Your Friend With You
Travel nursing offers the chance to explore new exciting destinations across the nation, but you may feel yourself getting lonely if you travel solo. That’s one of the reasons why travelers always ask, “Can my pet travel with me?”
The answer is yes—with a few caveats. Pets provide instant companionship and can help new locations always feel like home no matter where your adventures take you, but they also require extra planning on your end to make sure your pet stays happy and healthy on the road.
Let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow to ensure both you and your pet enjoy your next travel assignment.
Let Your Recruiter Know
Before anything else, your recruiter should know that you plan to bring a pet along, especially if you plan to use agency-provided housing. If they know you are bringing a pet, they can help you find housing options.
It’s also important because you may be required to pay a refundable pet deposit up front, as well as pet rent, depending on what housing option you select.
Visit The Vet Before You Leave
Depending on your pet’s age, a yearly check-up may already be part of your routine, but a quick visit before hitting the road will at least ensure any necessary vaccinations are current.
This will also give you a chance to ask your veterinarian about other medications, treatments or services your pet might need before you hit the road, like nausea medication for dogs who may be uneasy in a car.
It’s also a good idea, if possible, to get your pet microchipped. The Humane Society of the United States estimates more than 10 million pets are lost each year, and microchipping is one of the best ways to find your lost friend. A small microchip the size of a grain of rice is inserted under the skin, between the shoulder blades. Most veterinarians and humane society locations can provide the service.
Plan Out Pet-Friendly Travel Stops
Depending on the length of your trip, it’s important to take frequent rest stops to let your pet stretch their legs and take a bathroom break. Make sure your four-legged friend has ID tags and is on a leash, or is safely held in a carrier.
Leaving them alone in the car is not an option–internal temperatures in a car can reach staggering heights, even with cracked windows. At 70 degrees outside, a car that’s turned off can reach triple digits in under 30 minutes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Once your ready to stop for the evening, make sure it’s at a pet-friendly hotel. Websites like PetsWelcome have trip planning tools ensure you won’t be left out in the dog house.
Help Your Pet Adjust To The New Home
Planning to arrive a few days early can help your pet properly adjust to their new surroundings. For dogs or other outdoor pets, a quick walk around your new neighborhood will help them get familiar with new sights and smells.
You may also want to consider hiring a professional walker or pet sitter if you know you won’t be able to devote as much attention to your pet as you would like during an assignment. Consult online resources like the National Association of Pet Sitters to find a suitable sitter in your area.
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