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Top 10 tips for preparing your pets for travel

Try to familiarise your pet with their travel kennel as early as possible. If you know that they feel comfortable, you’ll feel more comfortable too.

1

Use a wall to measure your dog

Measuring your dog’s length accurately can be tricky. Here’s how we do it. Get your dog to lie down next to a wall. Grab a pencil and mark the nose and the base of the tail on the wall. Then use a tape measure to measure between your 2 marks. It’s a good idea to do this several times to make sure you get it right.

2

Make the travel kennel a haven

Do this gradually and make the experience as positive as possible. Get your pets to use the travel kennel as a place to rest and relax. Putting the travel kennel in a spot where your pet often sleeps is a good way to do this.

3

Introduce the travel kennel piece by piece

Half a kennel can be much less intimidating for pets, so try putting out the bottom of the kennel first. When your pet has got used to it, add the top half and, eventually, the door. Praising and rewarding your pet will help too.

4

Keep the door open

Leave the door open or put your kennel together without the door, so your pet knows they can get out easily. This will encourage them to go in.

5

Make it feel like home

Familiar items make a travel kennel feel like home. So use their blankets to encourage your pet to settle down inside.

6

Move dinner nearby

Put your pet’s bowl near the travel kennel at first, and gradually move it closer each time you feed them.

7

Use clothes that have your scent

On the day of travel, put something in the travel kennel that will remind your pet of you. An item of clothing you’ve been wearing will have your scent and will be perfect.

8

Reduce meals before they travel

Serve them less food on the day before they travel, but make sure you still give them plenty of water.

9

Walkies!

Keep your dog active by going for a walk before you leave for the airport and again before you check-in.

10

Try Adaptil or Feliway

Medicines are available to make the journey more comfortable. Adaptil (for dogs) and Feliway (for cats) are designed to soothe pets during travel. They’re wholesome and suitable and don’t affect blood pressure, so they’re completely safe to use before flights. You should always check with your vet before using any medicines or sprays.

See what the government says

You can read more useful information about pet travel at the government’s website.