Eight Hidden Costs of Traveling with a Pet

Some people can’t bear the thought of traveling without their pets. This is understandable. Your pet can be your best friend, so it’s natural to want to take them along when you go on vacation.

However, taking your dog, cat, or other pet with you when traveling may not be as simple, or inexpensive, as you think. Here are eight possible expenses to keep in mind before you decide to bring them along.

1. Finding A Hotel That Will Allow Your Pet

Few people like pet hair on their furniture, especially when it will be used by many people. They also don’t like waking up to dogs barking in the middle of the night. So, finding accommodations that permit animals can be a hassle.  

If you do manage to find a hotel that allows animals, you will notice that it is much more expensive than human-only hotels. You may need to dish out up to double the cost if you want to bring your furry friend along.

It’s a good idea to look for destinations that are pet-friendly. Europe is one of the most pet-friendly continents to travel in. Most public transportation also allows pets onboard at a very minimal cost.

2. Extra Treats and Toys

You want your buddy to be on their best behavior throughout the trip, right? Bribery with extra treats and new toys is the best way to achieve A+ behavior.

Of course, these treats and toys won’t materialize in front of you. Toys can cost a lot of money, especially if you need enough to keep a pet occupied for a long period of time. There are special soothing toys you can buy for this. These are meant to help ease anxiety in animals to keep them calm on the journey.

In the treats department, it’s a good idea to have both familiar treats that your pet loves, and new flavors that will occupy their tastebuds. This is a good method to keep your buddy from creating a ruckus for other travelers.

3. Air Travel with An Animal

Travel by air is one of the fastest and easiest methods for humans. But if you want to bring your furry friend along, you may be in for a challenge.

Extra Ticket Charge

Most airlines charge handsomely to bring your pet along on a flight. This is understandable, since the crew will need to accommodate a sometimes-moody and unfamiliar animal. Most flights also have a limit on the number of live animals they can carry, so you may have to book your flight well in advance.

Then, you will have the whole dilemma of cabin vs. cargo. The International Air Travel Association has strict guidelines for traveling with live animals. Apart from this, most airlines have specific requirements as well. But typically, if your pet is under a certain weight, you will be allowed to carry them in the cabin. This is usually the cheaper option.

Purchasing An Airline-Compliant Crate

Whether your pet is traveling in the cabin or in the cargo hold, they will need to be crated. And you can’t put them in any odd crate lying around. To bring your pet on the flight, the crate needs to be built following airline regulations. Some crates can cost upwards of $100, especially if the animal is bigger.

The general rules are this: The crate should have a water bowl in it. The pet should have enough space to stand comfortably. Your name and contact information needs to be noticeably present on the crate, and it should also have the words ‘live animal inside’ written on it.

4. Health Checks for Your Pet

Just as some countries require humans to be vaccinated for entry, the same applies for animals.

It is always a good idea to schedule a checkup with your regular vet before you plan your trip. Some animals may not be physically or mentally fit to withstand the anxiety of travel. In these circumstances, it’s better to leave them with a sitter.

If your vet does give a clean bill of health, the check doesn’t end there. According to the country you’re traveling to, you might need to get new vaccines or medicine for your pet.

These medical fees can rack up. Unfortunately, it isn’t a one-time thing. Each time you’re going to a new country, you will need to renew vaccines and health checks to gain entry.

5. Quarantining Your Pet

Even with all the correct vaccines and documentation, you may not be able enjoy every international destination with your pet right away. Some countries require the animal to be quarantined for a prescribed amount of time before being allowed entry. The duration for this quarantine can vary from anywhere between a day (Japan) and four weeks (Iceland).

The charge for having your pet lodged in a quarantine facility is expensive. It can go up to €2,000 in Iceland for larger dogs. In Australia, there is only one quarantine facility. So, all pets need to fly to Melbourne for quarantine before going forward with the journey. This could mean twice the transportation costs. Apart from the cost of the quarantining facility, pet parents will need to spend the duration in a hotel close by. 

6. Documentation According to Country

Taking your pet abroad comes with a lot of paperwork and documentation, to ensure they’re safe and fit for entry. This usually involves countless vet visits to get everything you need. The veterinarian needs to be a federally accredited one.

Most countries are strict about this paperwork. Sometimes, if even a comma is out of place, or the document isn’t dated properly, you’ll be denied entry. So, try calling an immigration-related office before you consider traveling to a country with your pet.

7. Microchipping Your Pet for Safety

It’s recommended to microchip your pet regardless of whether you’re traveling with them or not. But if you are, it’s necessary to microchip them for their safety. This is usually a very quick procedure that your regular vet can do, and is a one-time cost.

8. International Vet Visits

New food and conditions might make your pet fall sick. Conditions like frequent diarrhea and vomiting cause dehydration, and warrant a visit to the vet.

New places can also trigger allergic reactions in pets, which if not taken care of, can be life-threatening.

Veterinarian visits, depending on the country, can cost you an arm and a leg. But this isn’t something you can negotiate on. If you want a happy and healthy pet, you need to dish out this cost.

Is it Worth the Trouble?

While there is undoubtedly extra expense and hassle involved in bringing your pet on a trip, only you can decide if it’s worth the trouble. For some, the opportunity to make memories with your best buddy is far more valuable than the additional expense.

If you’re looking for another way to save money during your trip, you should highly consider purchasing travel medical insurance or travel insurance. If you get sick or injured, or encounter a travel-related mishap, this insurance can provide valuable financial coverage, allowing both you and your pet to stick to your budget.

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