Top Tips to Travelling With Your Pet

by Madeleine Borgersen

The thought of travelling is enough to excite anyone but when you are also bringing your pet, it can be twice the fun. However, with the fun, also comes the added prep work and the need to tick a few extra things off your travel checklist. Dr. Elise Barry, resident vet at Pet Circle, shares her top 3 tips to keep in mind before travelling with your pet.

Top Tips to Travelling With Your Pet

Don’t Skimp On The Research & Paperwork

Flying your pooch is not as simple as purchasing a ticket. Thorough research is needed to check the travel requirements of your pet.  Not all airlines will take animals so ensure your carrier can get you and your pet to your travel destination.  All airlines have strict guidelines for travelling with dogs and cats.  You must have an appropriate sized carrier (guidelines will be on the airline’s website). A veterinary certificate will be necessary for young animals less than 12 weeks of age, senior pets over 12 years, sick or convalescing pets or animals that are pregnant or have delivered within 48 hours.  Also some airlines have weight restrictions. Also, if you have a vulnerable pet like a brachycephalic (pushed-in face) breed or anxious animal you must discuss the risks of travel with your vet.  You also should be familiar with requirements for travel to your destination as special medications like Hydatid Tapeworming is needed for travel to Tasmania.

EXTRA TIP: Try to plan ahead of time because the process of sorting out the above and getting all the paperwork ready can be time-consuming and stressful if you’re in a rush.

Pack Strategically

You might not think twice about adding your dog’s favourite food to your luggage but when flying domestically, you need to check to see if the food will pass domestic quarantine regulations for your travel destination. Do your research ahead of time about entry requirements to avoid disappointment. It’s a good idea to pack your pet’s favourite accessories, which will remind them of home. This can help them settle into a new place and ease any separation anxiety they may experience.

EXTRA TIP: Bring healthy snacks and water with you to the airport. This can help offset any unwanted behaviour and keep your pet hydrated, especially if you have a long wait.

Help Your Pet To Adjust

For most people, landing in a new destination and environment can have an impact on our body and how we feel. This is no different for your pet. If you have a dog, after a flight, allow them to stretch their legs. Taking them for a walk in your new surroundings can help alleviate any anxiety or stress they experienced from travelling in a confined space.

EXTRA TIP: Pets are like humans – they have a body clock that’s dictated by lightness and darkness. Allow your pet to sleep off any fatigue or jet lag they may have.

Travelling with your pet is an awesome idea and can be a lot of fun, as long as you are well-prepared and organised ahead of time.


Dr. Elise Barry is the resident vet at Pet Circle. She provides expert advice and answers customers questions, as well as reviewing the quality of our food products and accessories. Dr Barry grew up on the Gold Coast with a back yard full of pets, including her Maltese, Raffles.

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