With the changes the pandemic has brought about we thought it would be a good idea to provide a revised version on how to safely travel with your pets.
With lockdown eased in the UK many of us humans are out and about again for local but safe activities and of course many of us like our friend Starina Esperanza Silvaz tend to travel with our pets.
But the pandemic means that we all have to adhere to social distancing and ensure we keep us and our pets away from other people and their pets. Thus we have revised our Top 5 tips
1. Ensure your pet can safely walk on a Harness with Lead
This is especially important for those of us with cats. If your cat has not been used to a harness and lead it will take some time to train them to use one.
Our Sponsor Sleepypod has a brilliant cat harness available (US only at the moment) that is made of an airmesh and light weight to ensure your cat doesn’t get hindered by the harness. When choosing a harness you must make sure you to pick one that fits snug or can be adjusted to fit snug but is not too tight for your cat.
It is also advisable to trial your cat on a harness in your own home first and give them a few days to a few weeks to get used to wearing their harness. If you have a garden the first few walks on a lead should occur in your garden to be able to observe how your cat reacts to wearing their harness and lead and of course again to give them time to adjust.
You can find further details on the Sleepypod Harness in our previous review.
2. Prepare your carrier
Ensure that the carrier you purchased when your pet was tiny is still roomy enough for them. Do they look comfortable in it? And do they have enough room to move around? You should always run these checks before attempting to travel with your pet.
In the vast majority of cases your pet will travel in the back of your car, not in the front with you. Us here at Katzenworld would especially recommend one of the various Sleepypod Cat Carriers. We have personally travelled a long 3 hours journey with our clowder using the mobile pet bed and atom version which are both brilliant choices for safe and comfortable travels. And they have car travel safety in mind as they can easily be strapped in with your seat belt.
3. Pack food and water
This should go without saying but we would just like to reiterate that just like us, our pets get dehydrated when they are travelling. A handy tip: freeze water before you leave home to ensure your four-legged friend has cool water for your journey. Our friends from Sleepypod also have some great travel bowls which are compact and can be used for both water and food simultaneously thanks to their unique design.
Possibly better to make sure your cat is in the carrier first too!
4. Keeping your pet calm during travel
Make sure you bring your cat’s blanket or their favourite stuffed animal, toy – any item which is familiar to your cat to help comfort and relax them. For a little extra help keeping particularly anxious pets calm, try to spray their carrier or toy with a bit of Pet Remedy which is a natural calming product that works for all pets through it’s unique mix of herbs. Useful to help pets cope when facing unusual situations or a change from their normal environment. While it works almost instantly we would recommend starting a few days before the trip.
The Pet Remedy calming spray is water-based and pH neutral. Use for travel and in the home.
Spray on pet bedding, bandana, or even a little on your fingers and gently rub around the muzzle, under the chin, and top of the chest!
You only need a couple of sprays and this will last between 2 and 6 hours depending on the individual pet.
For bonding rabbits, spray a little on a damp cloth or fingers and gently rub around muzzles of rabbits. This helps with scent swapping as well as calming, which in turn helps speed up the bonding process. This same procedure can be used for bonding other pets such as dogs, cats, rodents, and horses.
As a rule, best not to spray directly on a pet. This avoids any association of the spray with the stressful situation.
Avoid spraying in the proximity of small mammals and birds as they have small lung capacity. Best to spray a little on a cloth and then place the cloth near them.
When out walking or training an anxious pet, spray a little on a bandana or spray a little on a damp` cloth or your fingers and gently rub around the muzzle and top of the chest.
5. Protect your pet – vaccinate before boarding
Should you decide to board your cat instead of having them travel with you remember that Cattery facilities place cats in close proximity, increasing the risk of passing on infections. This makes vaccinations an essential part of preparing your cat for a cattery. Vaccinations help protect your pet by stimulating their body to produce antibodies to specific often contagious and even lethal diseases. If your pet should later come into contact with a disease they are vaccinated against the antibodies will protect them.
Vaccinations may be given over a two to three-week course and immunity may take days or weeks to develop afterwards. You should consult the boarding facility and your vet in advance to find out the requirements and timescales involved for vaccinations.
And make sure that if you do choose to leave them in a cattery that you pick a well-established cattery that has facilities in place to minimise the chance of spreading any potential disease.