4 Common Pet Travel Problems (and How to Avoid Them)

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Many pet owners agree that it’s difficult to go on long trips without their four-legged companions, as they often miss their pet’s comforting presence. This is why owners would much rather travel with their fur babies than leave them at home.

Indeed, taking a trip with your furry companion can be a great way of sharing fun adventures and making meaningful memories with them. However, you should make the necessary preparations to ensure a safe and comfortable trip for both you and your pet. Without careful planning and preparation, you may encounter setbacks while traveling with your furry companion.

Regardless of what mode of transportation you use—be it plane or car—certain factors may cause your pet to feel agitated, stressed, and ill. Furthermore, many places have specific rules and regulations for traveling with pets. Failing to comply with them may lead to penalties, additional charges, or trip cancellations. If you want to better prepare yourself for these situations, below are four common travel problems that pet parents encounter and how you can avoid them:

Happy dog in car during road trip
Happy dog in car during road trip

Pets Going Missing

Having a beloved animal companion go missing while on a trip is a pet parent’s worst nightmare. To prevent this from happening, make sure that your furry friend always wears a sturdy leash with a collar or harness whenever you’re out and about. Always keep an eye on your pet, and don’t leave them unsupervised if at all possible.

It’s also a good idea to attach a tag containing all your important contact information to your pet’s collar. This makes it easier for strangers to identify your pet and reach out to you, making it more likely for your fur baby to be safely returned to you in case they get lost.

Canine owners, in particular, may benefit from using custom dog collars made of high-quality, durable materials. These kinds of collars are sure to keep dogs from escaping their leashes while providing pups with maximum comfort during long trips.

Missing Travel Requirements

Each airline has its own set of regulations when it comes to traveling with your pet. For instance, many will require you to use a pet carrier that’s USDA-approved. Without bringing the proper carrier, you may risk getting rejected by the airline while checking in for your flight.

Before you travel, you’ll also need to submit certain pet health documents and certifications depending on your destination. Each state or country has different laws and requirements for people traveling with pets, with some being stricter than others. If you fail to submit the proper documents on time, your pet is likely to be prohibited from entering your destination with you.

The best way to avoid these problems is to research all the necessary paperwork ahead of time. Make sure to check government and airline websites for reliable information on pet travel regulations. You should also schedule an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian at least ten days before your trip. This way, the vet can perform health screenings and ensure that your fur baby’s medical records are up to date.

High Stress and Anxiety Levels during Transportation

If your pet is unaccustomed to riding in a moving vehicle, they might act out in dangerous ways as a response to stress and anxiety. They may even try to escape the vehicle and end up getting themselves hurt in the process.

Additionally, most airlines require pets to stay in a plane’s cargo area, separating them from their owners throughout the trip. Due to this, traveling by plane can be a stressful and uncomfortable experience for your furry companion.

Generally, it’s recommended that you place your pet in a carrier during car and plane trips to help them feel more secure. To prevent stress and anxiety, make sure to keep them in a spacious kennel lined with clean bedding. This will help them not feel so trapped or cramped within their carrier. It also helps to give your pet their favorite toy or item during the trip, as it can ease their stress by offering them a familiar source of comfort.

Lastly, do opt for direct flights if you’re traveling by plane, as it lessens the likelihood of your pet being mishandled during layovers. If you can’t book a direct flight, make sure to ask your airline about their pet safety practices during layovers. These are just some ways to ensure that your fur baby is safe and sound while on the plane.

Car Sickness

Many pets are also prone to experiencing car sickness, especially during long road trips. To determine if your fur baby is fit for this mode of transportation, try taking them on shorter car trips first. Frequent and short trips are a great way to acclimatize a pet to their new environment. Once you notice that your furry friend has gotten more comfortable being in a moving vehicle, you can gradually extend the duration of your car rides.

When you’re ready to take your pet on a long car ride, do your best to keep them as comfortable as possible. You may also want to pet-proof your vehicle in case your fur baby vomits or drools excessively due to car sickness. And because vomiting can lead to severe dehydration and make your fur baby feel even worse, always bring drinkable water and a collapsible travel cup to help your pet stay hydrated.

If your pet frequently experiences car sickness despite your best efforts, make sure to consult a veterinarian about possible medications or treatments to alleviate it. By doing so, you’ll be well equipped to address your furry friend’s condition the next time it happens.


Traveling with your pet can be a rewarding experience as long as you do your research and plan ahead of time. Remember: the key to an enjoyable trip with your fur baby is to make sure that you can address all their needs and anticipate all possible scenarios. Just keep all the above tips in mind, and you and your furry friend should be just fine. Wherever you decide to go, your pet will always be happy to spend more time with their favorite person.

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Lisa Day

My name is Lisa Day. I am a traveling wanderer, writer and thinker from the Pacific Northwest. Highly ambitious and possibly naively optimistic, I want to see and experience as much as possible in this life because, well why not? My travel blog, Univagabond, is for nomads, 9-5ers and everyone in between. With travel stories, life musing and a few spirited rants, I hope it will inspire people out of routine humdrum and into an adventurous life in the real world.

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