Tips to Traveling with Your ESA or Pet

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Tips to Traveling with Your ESA or Pet

Traveling is a super important part of our lives in this crazy, modern world. As we grow more disparate and scattered all over the globe, travel becomes more of an inevitability every day. Of course, traveling to see our family and friends who we live far away from is a necessity, but traveling can also be a much-needed escape from the stresses of our jobs and our everyday lives.

Those of us with pets or emotional support animals likely still need or want to travel. Having an animal in your life should definitely not stop you from spending quality time with the fam, or even achieving your wanderlust goals!

We are big supporters of pet owners traveling, so we’ve gone ahead and put together the most comprehensive guide to tips for traveling with your pets that we possibly could. Our hope is that these tips will encourage pet and ESA owners U.S. wide to make good on their travel plans very, very soon!

Traveling with Pets VS ESAs

When traveling, the distinction between pets and ESAs is often as simple as paying a pet fee. Because emotional support animals are classified as service animals, the rights of ESAs are not as wide-reaching as the more highly trained service animals. These tips contain suitable information for both regular pets and ESA. Let’s get into the ultimate tips for pet and ESA travel!

Tip #1: Know Your Rights (Plus, Have a Copy On Hand)

One of the best ways to feel comfortable and confident when traveling with your pet is to be fully aware of exactly what is allowed and what is required by the law. With this knowledge under your belt, you are less likely to run into issues when traveling with your pet. Can’t memorize long sections of legal text? Well the simple solution is to also take a printed copy with you too to ensure you can reference it whenever you need to. It’s a good idea to have a copy of an airline’s pet policy when flying with any pet, plus the Aircraft Carrier Access Act (ACA) if you’re flying with an ESA.

Tip #2: Do Your Research Before You Book

Traveling to most destinations with a pet or ESA within the U.S. is fairly easy. However, when traveling internationally it can be a whole different kettle of fish. Some destinations can be super pet-friendly, while some have extremely strict regulations on allowing pets beyond their borders. It’s definitely important to do the research before shelling out for any type of ticket, accommodation or tours.

Tip #3: Find the Perfect Carrier

When you’re traveling with a pet or ESA, there’s no doubt they’ll probably spend a lot of time cooped up in their carrier. That’s why it’s important to make sure you provide your animal with a comfortable, functional pet carrier, so they can travel in comfort. Plus, there’s now even carriers on wheels, for the comfort of owners too!

Tip #4: If Traveling by Air, Do Some Serious Pre-Flight Preparation

For air travel, do not underestimate the importance of preparation for your pet or ESA! Flying can be super stressful for animals, so some time spent on preparation goes a long way. Practicing having them sleep in their carrier for long periods, desensitization to airport sounds and even extra-socialization can make a huge impact on the experience both you and your pet have.

Tip #5: Pack Some Items That Remind Your Pet of Home

One simple way to make your pet feel comforted when traveling is to pack them some familiar toys, or even old clothing items of your own that have your smell on them. This helps your pet or ESA to feel just as comfortable as they would if you were right at home.

Tip #6: Resist the Urge to Feed Them, Or Pay for it Later

We know it can seem unfathomable to keep your pet or ESA without food for a number of hours—but it really is a good thing for all! Feeding leads to…well you already know what, and many times while traveling your pet will not be in a position to relieve itself. It’s much more comfortable for both dog and owner to restrict food before travel, and water too, but not to the same extent.

Tip #7: Take Them On the Longest Walk of Their Lives!

Another great tip that can help to reduce stress and even avoid toilet accidents is to give your pet or ESA lots of exercise before travel. Your pet will be totally zenned out, and with any luck, will sleep for the whole journey!

Tip #8: Always Travel with a Squeegee, and Benefit from Its Weird But Wonderful Use

Packing correctly for your pet can make or break a trip! At a minimum, you should pack for your pet or ESA:

  • Your pet’s favorite toys and bedding
  • Litter box or waste bags
  • Leash/harness/collar
  • Crate or travel carrier
  • Food and treats with collapsible travel bowls
  • Drinking water
  • Medications and medical/vaccine records
  • A formal health certificate from your vet if necessary (many airlines require one)
  • Towel (for cleaning up messes or wiping wet paws)
  • Travel throw (to serve as a blanket or car seat cover)
  • Grooming supplies
  • Pet first aid kit
  • A squeegee – Why a squeegee? Well, wherever you are staying, this humble item has a magic trick: it is able to quickly and painlessly collect pet hair from any surface. That means that clean-up is fast and easy anywhere that your pet sheds. Perfect!

Tip #9: Keep Them Inside the Carrier Until After Clearing Customs

When you arrive at your international destination it can be tempting to let your pet out of their carrier as soon as you lay eyes on them. But remember, customs requires you to keep your pet in their carrier until you clear them, so just hold on a few more minutes!

Tip #10: Make Memories

Now that you’ve nailed travel with a pet or ESA, enjoy your time making memories with them (how to ask doctor for emotional support animal)!

We hope these tips make travel that much more successful for you and your animal companion. Bon voyage!


Guest Writer Bio

certapetWith the primary goal of helping those in need of an Emotional Support Animal, Certapet strongly believes that having an ESA is beneficial, valuable, and can foster an overall positive change in a person’s mental health. From depression to PTSD to anxiety and more, Emotional Support Animals assist their owners in managing their mental or emotional condition and can potentially reduce the symptoms these individuals experience. CertaPet connects individuals who have a disabling condition or mental health diagnosis with a Licensed Mental Health Professional who provides an evaluation and treatment for the individual through a secure online platform.



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