Summer Travel Tips for Your Pet
Have you ever noticed your pet panting after a short walk on hot summer days? Much like when getting exercise, your pets can also experience these “heat waves” while travelling. Just like humans, your pet can also regulate its body temperature, but as a pet owner there are steps that can be taken to ensure a comfortable trip for your furry friend.
- Adjust your flight time. Even though you may want to arrive at your location at a specific time, it is best to avoid traveling on flights departing or arriving midday. Heat waves are the strongest between 11:00am and 3:00pm and can gravely impact your pet’s travel. Preferably flying in the early morning or late evening will allow your pet to be more comfortable when adjusting from indoor to outdoor temperatures.
- Easy access to water. No matter the length of the flight, your furry friend needs to be able to stay hydrated. Ensure access to water is convenient for your pet and that it can be refilled without needing to open the travel carriage. Bonus tip: Pre-freeze the water tray to reduce spillage and guarantee access to water throughout the flight.
- Increase airflow. Cracking a window open for your pet in the car is acceptable, but unfortunately it cannot be done on the plane. However, using a carrier with ventilation on all four sides will help increase airflow for your pet. Comfort is key for smooth travelling and avoiding stress produced from overheating. If the carrier you have purchased does not have openings for air circulation on all sides, create your own. Use a drill to create one-inch holes along the side with no ventilation. Ensure the holes are not large enough to affect the structure of the carrier.
- Avoid synthetic bedding. Help regulate your pet’s body temperature by removing any synthetic bedding your carrier may have. Synthetic bedding holds in heat and affects your pet’s ability to regulate body temperature. Instead, replace it with a thick layer of newsprint or cotton bedding.
- Get the right size carrier. Measure your dog before purchasing their carrier. Your pet should be able to lie down, turn around and comfortably stand in its natural position. Size is key for ensuring a stress free journey and ensuring airflow to prevent overheating.
A comfortable journey for your pet creates an easy transition into its new environment. Unlike humans, dogs have a harder time adjusting and moderating their body temperature. Before flying, consider grooming your pet to remove any excess hair that may increase the chance of overheating. Your furry friend will have a smooth, stress-free journey when following these five tips for travelling in the heat!
National Moving Month: How to Help Your Pet Deal with Homesickness
In celebration of National Moving Month this May, we’d like to discuss something that affects us all – homesickness. Whether it’s moving to a neighbouring city, or relocating to an entirely different country, it’s natural to miss home every once and a while.
But did you know that homesickness isn’t only a human emotion? That’s right, your furry friends can feel its effects just as much as you do! The good news is, there are some simple things you can do to provide your pet with the emotional relief they need:
1) Routine, routine, routine
Even though you’ve moved to a new place, it’s helpful for your pet if you try as much as possible to maintain the same routine you had at your old place. Did you go on walks in the park with your dog every morning? Find a new park and do the same. Did you have a special area in the house that you always cuddled with your cat? Scope out an area in your new house and do the same.
2) It’s all in the smell
Providing your pet with smells they’re familiar with is key to helping them overcome some of the distress they’re experiencing. Instead of throwing out their bed from your previous home, bring it to the new place (no matter how beat up it may look!). The same goes for their toys, food dishes, water bowls, etc. One familiar smell can quickly make an unsettling place seem much more comforting to your pet.
3) Make time for playtime
The first few weeks (let’s face it – the first few months) of moving into a new house can be very disorganized and hectic. You will likely have a lot of unfinished moving business to take care of. Although you’ll be very busy for the first little while, make sure to set aside time to play with your pet. Neglecting them will only increase their anxiety – not to mention yours!
4) Don’t add to their stress
It’s important you respect your pet and give them time to adjust. Don’t add any stressors to an already-stressful situation. You may want to postpone your house warming party until well after your pet has become settled in. Try giving your pet a break! If your dog hates baths, don’t bathe them for a little while. If your cat can’t stand getting their nails clipped, hold off on that as well.
By following these 4 simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to giving your pet the peace of mind they need. Your only next step is to start enjoying this new and exciting chapter of your life together!
The Loose Ends: How to Find a Vet When Moving to a New City
Moving to a new city is an exciting time, but naturally, with this excitement comes stress – especially if you’re moving with your pet.
One of the most common dilemmas that many pet owners face when moving to a new city is how to find a veterinarian. Much like how you’d ensure you pick the best doctor for your health, you want the same quality treatment for your furry friend.
In order to help you find the right vet for you and your pet, we’ve outlined a few helpful tips on how to find a vet when moving to a new city.
1) Do your research
When scouting for a new vet, technology should become your best friend. Many countries have online resources in place that evaluate veterinary clinics based on calibre of facility, quality of equipment, and standards of care. For those moving to a city in North America, check out the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) or Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) to get a complete listing of all vets that will be available to you. If you’re moving abroad, find a similar association that will ensure excellent standards and qualities are met when it comes to treating your pet.
2) Use your connections
Researching online will narrow down your scope, but when it comes to getting first-hand advice, never underestimate the power of your social circle. Take advantage of friends and family for first-hand recommendations. You never know who may be able to tell you about a great vet in the city you’re moving to. Equally important is asking your current vet for advice, as they will usually have connections to other professionals in the industry. Heading to the park for a stroll with your pet in the new city? Strike up a conversation with a fellow pet owner and ask them for their referral.
3) Start asking questions
Online research and advice from others is key to kick-starting your search for a new vet, but the real footwork begins after the big move. Upon arriving in your new city, make appointments to visit the vet clinics that you have narrowed your search down to before arriving. Take the time to check out the facility and ask the staff questions. Keep an eye out on how friendly they are, how clean the space is, and even how the facility smells.
4) Make a decision
Hooray! You’ve done the grunt work and now you’re finally ready to make a commitment. When registering at your new vet of choice, remember to bring along your pet’s medical records including vaccination history, rabies certificate, and any other relevant information that may be of importance.
Although it does take time, you’ll feel great knowing you’ve found a good veterinarian to take care of your pet. The only thing that’s left now is to enjoy your new city together!
Apples to Oranges: How to Properly Change Your Pet’s Food
Much like babies, animals require a careful transition to trying new foods as to not upset their digestive systems. Moving to a new location, especially if abroad, might mean that your pet’s current food is no longer available. Ensuring you change your pet’s food in a certain way means avoiding messy cleanups or worse, a (potentially expensive) trip to the vet clinic if serious illness arises.
As such, we recommend following these steps to changing your pet’s food:
1) Keep it similar
When you arrive at your new location, check your local pet stores for similar food in terms of ingredients. Sticking to a similar formula will help minimize the risk of upset stomach due to changes in nutritional content. Stay consistent with textures as well – if your cat’s food is dry now, don’t change it to wet food simply because that’s all that was available at your nearest store.
Make sure you bring along at least a week’s worth of your pet’s current food in your packed luggage. When it comes time to feed them, mix some of the new food in with the current food. As each day passes, reduce the current food and add more of the new food, eventually eliminating the current food altogether. If your pet does not experience any gastrointestinal issues at the end of the first week, make the full switch!
Take note, however, that different countries have different regulations in terms of bringing foreign food into the country, animal food included. Consult the country’s import regulations or your pet relocation provider well in advance of your pet’s travel date to inform yourself of any restrictions.
3) Ask your veterinarian
If all else fails and your pet isn’t taking to the new food, or your pet is experiencing gastrointestinal issues as a result of the new food, consult with your local veterinarian. They may have suggestions as to what next steps to take.
Planning for a move can be complicated, but oversights can make things even more complex in the future. Take the necessary time to address what needs to be done to prepare your pet for travel, food included!
Homeward Bound: Moving With Pets
Moving to a new city, country or continent is an exciting experience, but it can also be stressful. Anyone who’s ever moved can tell you that transporting all of your belongings to a completely different location can take a lot of time and effort.
Moving can be stressful for your pets as well. They have no prior knowledge of the transition, and their new surroundings might be a little strange to them at first. While eventually, you know your furry friends will come to love your new home as much as you do, getting them ready for a big move can take some time.
I have helped hundreds of pets move to new homes in my years as a pet relocation specialist. While all animals react differently to travel, there are a few simple ways to get your pets ready for this kind of transition. Here are my tips to help you prepare your pet for a big move.
- When packing up your home, try and remove items in stages, leaving a familiar space for your pet. This will allow them to stay calm as you begin to remove items from your home. On moving day, get a friend or family member to take your pet to their home so they can be removed from the hustle and bustle of movers and moving trucks.
- If you are moving far away, make sure your pet is used to being in a crate or kennel before they make the journey to their new home. Try training them to be in their crate for brief periods of time in the weeks leading up to the big move, as this will allow them to stay calm when they need to be in there for longer.
- If you’re moving to a location with a different climate than you’re currently in, try and get your pet used to colder or warmer temperatures, that way they won’t be shocked when they get off the plane.
- Make your travel plans in advance. There is nothing worse than being in a hurry on moving day, and you don’t want your pet to experience that kind of stress. Make sure you have made their transportation arrangements in advance and your pet has all the proper vaccinations needed before travel. The calmer you are during your move, the calmer your pet will be.
- When you and your pet have safely arrived at your destination, get to know your new neighbourhood! Familiarizing your pet with his or her new home will make the transition easier. And hey, a few treats never hurt either!
When you’re about to make a big move, remember to get your pet ready in advance so you can both feel at home in no time.
Pets On A Plane: The Problem With Smuggling Animals Onboard
Stories about people illegally bringing their animals into other countries have been popping up in the news quite frequently over the last few years. After a recent story emerged about a woman who was trying to bring her cat in her bag while travelling from Vancouver to New Zealand I decided it was important to explain why this kind of practice is dangerous for both passengers and pets.
Firstly, every country has their own rules and regulations when it comes to importing animals. Some countries require travelling animals to stay in quarantine for a period of time, while some may require that an animal receives specific shots before crossing their borders. Countries are broken down into three categories: Rabies-Free Countries, Rabies-Controlled Countries and High-Rabies Countries. I have been working in this industry long enough to know the rules and regulations regarding animal travel between these groups of countries, whereas an average pet owner may not possess such knowledge.
When Johnny Depp and Amber Heard brought their two terriers to Australia, authorities stepped in and were almost forced to put the dogs down as a result of their illegal entrance into the country. While extreme, this reaction is due to the fact that these animals could have been carrying diseases and bacteria that could pose a threat to Australia’s ecosystem. After a lengthy legal battle, the dogs were able to return home, but that might not always be the case for an average non-celebrity.
Another major reason you should never smuggle a pet onboard is out of respect for the other passengers on your flight. While your pup is sitting in your carry on, your seatmate could be seriously allergic to animal hair. Moreover, not everyone is an animal lover, and thus having an unexpected strange animal onboard could trigger one’s phobia. Flying can make people nervous, so adding to that pre-existing anxiety probably isn’t a good idea. I can’t say I would’ve enjoyed being on the flight where an iguana was let loose.
More than anything, as a pet owner, it’s important to think of the comfort and safety of your pet. Smuggling your animals away in a tight carry on would be incredibly uncomfortable and unsettling to them. Just think of how you would feel if you were stuck in a tiny bag for an entire flight.
Always make travel arrangements for your pets. While some airlines will make exceptions for carrying small animals onboard within the same rabies-controlled countries, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Trying to hide your animals on a plane can only cause problems for yourself, other passengers and most importantly, your pet.
Pet Travel Prep: What to know before they depart:
“How can I prepare my pet for travel?”
This is one of the most common questions I am asked. If you are shipping a pet for the first time, you might be unaware of how to get your pet ready for their big trip. It’s important that you book your pet’s travel accommodations in advance to make sure you have everything together before you get ready to ship your pet to their destination.
Once you have booked your flight, it’s time to get the process started. Here are some tips I give to owners who are shipping their pets for the first time:
Do your research. Every country has a different set of laws regarding animal travel. For example, some places need to quarantine your pet for up to 30 days after they have been shipped there. Imagine driving to the airport to pick up your puppy just to find out that you can’t take him home for another 30 days. Make sure you look into the laws and regulations of the country your pet is flying to at least 6 months prior to the shipping date.
Stay up to date on vaccinations. No one likes to get a shot, but it’s important that your pet is in good health before travelling. Most countries require your pet to have had their rabies vaccinations at least 30 days before travelling. Some countries might have other laws around vaccinations so ensure to research vaccination requirements in advance.
Train your pet for travel. Allow your animal to get used to the crate they will be using when they fly. By allowing them to adapt to the space before they make the trip, they will feel more comfortable when they fly.
Ensure their comfort. After your pet has received all of their shots, eaten 6-8 hours prior to their flight, and are used to the crate they will be travelling in, it’s time to depart! Give them a personal item to take on their trip, such as an old sweater that smells like you or a small bedding item. This will help them feel more at home.
Leaving your pet at the airport is always difficult, but knowing you have prepared them for travel will make you both a lot more comfortable, and you can rest easy knowing that your animal is safe and sound en route to their brand new home!
Pet Scams: A Note from our President
As a pet owner, I know how easy it is to get attached to an animal, which is why when I see time and time again that fake organizations are using our name and logo to scam people into buying cheap pets online, I get very upset.
Fake companies are claiming to have cheap dogs and cats for sale online, and ask that you only pay a small shipping cost. In the end there are no dogs or cats, just a group of individuals who are looking to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting pet lovers.
I know how easy it is to get attached to an animal. While the victims of this scam have not come into contact with these fabricated animals, they are sent updates and pictures and form an emotional attachment to them. The realization that they have spent hundreds of dollars for nothing is incredibly heartbreaking, especially when someone was expecting a new furry friend to arrive in their life.
There is no denying that pets are expensive. I remember when I was looking to purchase a cat for my family I was shocked by the cost. Finding what appears to be an amazing deal on a dog or cat can be hard to resist. It’s important to understand that there is a reason animals are priced the way they are, and no breeds of dogs or cats will ever be offered for free online. A general rule of thumb when searching for animals on the Internet is if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
I got into this business because I love animals and I understand the joy they bring to peoples lives. We make it our mission at WorldWide Animal Travel to ensure the comfort and safety of your pet when travelling, and to keep our clients happy.
I wanted to post this blog to ensure that people are aware of these criminals, and do not think we are associated with this scam in any way shape or form. I know it can be easy to get caught up in an online hoax like this, but it’s my hope that this information will prevent anyone from becoming the next victim of an online pet scam.