Tips to Prepare Your Pet for Travel

The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, the worldwide trade association for animal handlers, kennel operators, veterinarians and others who are dedicated to the care and welfare of pets and animals during transport, joins in celebrating Responsible Pet Owners Month (February) by offering tips on how to prepare your pet for travel.

Whether traveling a short distance or across the world, it has never been easier or more safe to take your pet with you. Responsible pet owners should:

1. Make sure your pet visits a veterinarian before you leave. They should get the appropriate shots and refills for any medication.

2. Get an updated health certificate for your pet. Since they are only good for ten days, make sure you get this right before leaving.

3. Look ahead at the weather conditions. Inclement weather affects pets as well as human passengers, so be prepared for delays or cancellations. During the winter and summer months, airlines may have restrictions on transporting pets due to extreme temperatures. If possible, reschedule your pet's travel when weather will improve to avoid last minute delays or an unexpected layover in the middle of a trip.

4. Prepare your pet for flights or long distance travel. By acclimating them to their crate ahead of time, they will feel safe and remain comfortable during the trip.

5. Consider hiring a professional pet shipper if traveling a long distance or relocating. They will handle everything and make sure your pet is safe during travel. You can find a pet shipper through the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA).

Pet travel is very safe, especially if families use a professional pet shipping company. Professional pet shippers work closely with airlines to provide a safe environment for the pet during transport. During extreme weather conditions, they are able to coordinate directly with the airlines so they can stay ahead of any flight delays or cancellations.

"Your pet is a member of your family and you want to make sure they have a safe, comfortable travel experience," says IPATA President Sally Smith. "That's our top priority as well."

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