If your travel companion has four legs instead of two and goes to the groomer’s instead of a hair salon, don’t worry. Working as a traveling medical professional and still keeping your pet isn’t out of the question. While working out the logistics of traveling with a cat or dog takes a little extra planning, nothing beats coming home every day to a pal who adores you.
How to travel
If you’ll be traveling by car, your pet will be safest in a crate or carrier. This is something you need to think about ahead of time, because if your pet hasn’t been introduced to the confines of a crate before, traveling the day of could be a stressful affair. Your veterinarian or a pet store sales rep can advise you on which sizes and models would work best for your pet, but the general guideline is that your pet should be able to stand up and turn around as well as stretch out to lie down and sleep in the crate. Introducing your cat or dog to the kennel before you have to travel will reduce your stress come travel time.
It’s a dog’s life
Some dogs see a car trip as an exciting adventure full of interesting sights and smells, and make great traveling companions. Other become nervous and may need a sedative to get through the long trip, something your vet will have to weigh in on. If you’ll be on an extended assignment with your dog, you’ll also want to consult your vet and make sure that checkups and shots are up to date, in addition to having an ample stock of any pet meds or supplies. That goes for cats, too.
The cat’s meow
If your cat enjoys travel, or even just tolerates it, you’re one of the lucky ones. Many cats find traveling by car to be absolutely torturous, and have no problem expressing their displeasure, making the trip miserable for the both of you. Minimizing food and drink, making sure the car is a comfortable temperature, and even positioning the carrier so that your cat can see you are all ways you may be able to make the whole experience a little less traumatic for your cat.
If you and your pet are a package deal, be sure to let your RTG recruiter know from the beginning. We can work together to find pet-friendly housing and make sure the assignment is a good fit for the both of you. A loving pet is a good stress reliever in a new environment, and we’ll be glad to make sure we get everything worked out from the start.