Part Two Of Our “Travel Nurses With Pets” Series…
Traveling cross-country with pets is an experience that comes with more than a few challenges. Airlines and trains each have their own set of pet transport policies, and there are pet-specific state and city policies to bear in mind when traveling by car with pets. The following is a simple guide to caring for your pets while traveling, and what to look out for.
Traveling With Pets In The Car
Prepare your car for your pets by removing any poisonous items and choking hazards before bringing them into the car. For your own protection, and especially if travel will be a common occurrence, you may also want to invest in rubber floor mats and protective coverings for your car.
As a side note: Please do not leave your pets alone in the car – particularly in especially cold or hot temperatures. A pet can suffer from hypothermia nearly as quickly as heat exhaustion!
Crating Your Pet
Secure it carefully so that it does not lurch back and forth as the car starts and stops, which can cause them to lose their balance and feel uncomfortable. Cats appreciate it if they’re able to be positioned so they can see you, and when they can’t see what’s flying by outside.
Keeping their Diet Straight
Changes in diet can strongly affect a pet that may already feel car sick. If possible, feed them lightly with food brought from home (your pet’s brand may not be available where you’re traveling), and never feed them while the car is moving. And just like travelers are warned “Don’t drink the water!”, the same stands for your pets – if possible, bring a few gallons of your tap water with you to avoid your animal becoming sick along the way.
Ferrying Your Pets
If you’re traveling in unfamiliar territory, check your route to see if you’ll need to travel on a ferry. Some ferries will not allow pets or will have special requirements (such as proof of rabies vaccination of there’s no rabies on the island on the other side). More than a few travelers have come across the country only to be stonewalled on the final leg!
Flying With Pets
Most airlines today allow for pets to travel in the cabin – but can may charge an extra $50, $250, or more to accommodate them.
It’s also important to keep in mind the regulations surrounding a pet on an airline. The USDA requires hat your pet be offered food and water within four hours of checkin with your airline. Federal regulations also require that your pet is at least eight weeks old, and has been weaned for at least five days before flying.
In addition, the airline will also require a veterinarian-issued health certificate that’s not older than ten days, as well as a valid rabies vaccination certificate. Some airlines will also wish to personally inspect the animal before admittance. In these cases, we recommend that you remove and replace the pet in its carrier yourself, for the pet’s comfort as well as for liability reasons.
As a final note, please take care when bringing your dog on an escalator. Paws, hair, and tails can become caught in the moving parts. In each airport, an elevator, staircase, or ramp should be available nearby.
Pets Traveling In Trains & Buses
Generally, Amtrack and other major train companies do not permit pets (except for service animals) to be transported by train. Additionally, Greyhound buses do not allow pets other than service animals.
However, several of the smaller train and bus services DO allow animal transport. This varies from one company to the next, and also from one state to the next. Additionally, each company will have its own policy on the size and species of animal that is admitted. You can find an excellent list of which animals are allowed where at dogfriendly.com.
We Can Help You Find A Travel Nursing Job!
Our recruiters are here to guide you through the transition to your next travel nursing assignment! We can aid in every part of your move, including travel arrangements, housing that works for you and your pet, and much more. Contact us by calling (800) 278-0332 or applying online today!