Most pets aren’t keen travellers but there are safe ways to make a journey easier for both you and your pet.
Whether you’re flying off for a sunny holiday or simply driving to the vets, getting the right animal transport is essential.
Cats and rabbits in particular need to be confined in carrying cases when travelling. If you and your pet are off on a long adventure, help them to prepare for it.
For cats and rabbits, this can mean letting them spend some time exploring the carrying case.
For dogs, shorter car trips wearing a new safety harness can help them adjust before setting off on a lengthy trip.
If you introduce your pet to its travelling restrictions slowly, a carrying case or harness can feel like a familiar and safe place to be when they’re on their travels.
A dog needs to be restrained when travelling in a car. If the car stops suddenly, a dog could be injured in the same way that people could.
Dogs need to be secured, so they don’t distract the driver. Travelling crates and containers are a popular way to transport a faithful friend.
If you opt for one of these, make sure your dog has enough room to sit and stand up at full height, turn around easily and lie down in a natural position.
It’s important that dogs are able to clearly see out of the container, and there should be plenty of ventilation.
Make your dog as comfy as possible by putting some bedding in the container or crate. A car harness is the other option. These secure your dog by using the car seat belt.
Measure your dog, so you get the right size harness, and you fit it properly.
It’s dangerous to have cats loose in the car, let alone on public transport. If a cat is left to wander round the car, he or she can easily distract the driver and cause accidents.
So if you’re driving your cat anywhere, or taking it on a bus or train, it needs to be housed in a suitable carrier.
This should be a secure box with a solid base, so that if the cat is sick or urinates on the journey, there isn’t any mess, and it also needs to be well-ventilated.
There’s a wide range of carriers on the market, from wicker to fibre-glass, plastic and plastic-coated wire mesh.
It’s best to avoid the cheapest carriers made of cardboard, as they won’t last and can work out more expensive in the long run.
Line the base with absorbent paper and take some spare bedding along. If you sit the case on your lap, if you’re not driving, you’ll be able to see your pet and keep it calm on the journey.
Rabbits should be safely kept in a cat carrying case when they’re travelling.
If it’s an emergency and you don’t have a cat carrying case, you could move a rabbit in a cardboard box as long as you make enough holes for ventilation.
When returning a rabbit to its home, you should lower in his or her hind legs first. This makes it impossible for the rabbit to kick out and scratch you.