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The complete guide to travel with pets in Australia

Recent statistics reveal that Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, in fact there are more pets than there are people.  It’s therefore no wonder many Aussies are looking for ways to incorporate their furry friends into all aspects of their lives – including travel.

Whether you’re planning a trip near or far, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to travelling around Australia with your pet. We’ll give you an introduction for first time animal adventurers, as well as lay down some of the transport, destination, accommodation, dining and activity considerations that will even help seasoned pet explorers ensure that travelling with your pooch or parakeet will run smoothly, so your vacation will be a happy family affair – for humans and furry ones alike.

Pet travel in Australia index

1. Introduction to travelling with your pet

2. What to pack and how to prepare

3. Transport considerations

3a. Road trips with your pet

3b.Flying holidays with your pet

4. Pet-friendly accommodation and city guides

4a.Melbourne

4b. Sydney

4c. Hobart

4d. Adelaide

4e. Perth

4f. Cairns

4g. Gold Coast

4h. Brisbane

4i. Canberra

4j. Darwin

5. Advice from the pet experts

1) Introduction to travelling with your pet

A photo posted by Pups of Sydney (@pupsofsydney) on


So, you’ve decided you want to take Fido on tour, but are unsure whether or not it’s a feasible scenario. It’s important to first weigh up the highs and lows of pet travel in order to make the right decision about whether you should pack the flea collar after all – and to ensure that your dream holiday doesn’t turn into a dreary one. Here we highlight some of the pros and cons of travelling with your wild one:

Pros:
• Pets can be great travel buddies and help avoid moments of loneliness when you are far from home
• Pets are a great conversation starter and an easy way to make new friends
• You won’t have to worry about how they are looked after in your absence
• You’ll avoid the separation anxiety involved in leaving man’s best mate at home

• The cost of boarding your animal for the duration of your trip might be steep

Cons:
• You’ll have fewer accommodation options
• You’ll need to factor walks, bathroom breaks and feeding into your day, which may cut into your schedule of sights and activities
• In most cases, you can’t leave animals unattended in hotel rooms (we don’t recommend it for children either!)
• Accommodation costs can rise when an animal is added to the equation
• Certain animals – namely cats – are territorial and won’t like to be taken out of their normal comfort zone (and the RSPCA don’t recommend it either).

2. What to pack and how to prepare

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3. Transport considerations

 

A photo posted by Doggy Luxe (@doggyluxe) on


The main modes of transportation for getting your pet from A to B are flying and driving, as for buses and trains you can only take specially trained dogs for the vision and hearing impaired. Here are some of the main pros and cons, as well as regulations and tips on how to prepare your pet for travel, to consider when deciding between a road trip or air travel:

3a. Road trips with your pet

A photo posted by Doggy Luxe (@doggyluxe) on

Pros:
• More control over your pet’s health and safety
• Cheaper than flying – especially for short distances
• No baggage limits – you can bring all your pet needs
• Less regulations

Cons:
• Road trips usually take longer (depending on where you are going)
• You need to plan stops to cover your pets needs, such as toilet breaks and exercise
• Some dogs and cats don’t like cars as they associate them with vet visits
• If not properly restrained, they can become a driving hazard

Regulations
• The RTA advises that police can fine a driver and issue demerit points if an animal is causing a driver to not be in full control of the vehicle, if the pet is seated in the driver’s lap, if a motorcycle rider is riding with the animal between the handlebars and their lap, or if a dog on a ute is not restrained either via a tether or a cage, so that the dog can not fall off or be injured when the vehicle moves. The penalties are three demerit points and $415 (more in a school zone)
• The RSPCA can also issue fines under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. If an animal is injured because it was unrestrained, owners face up to six months jail and fines of up to $5,500. Carrying dogs untethered on the backs of utes can land drivers with fines of $500.
• Rules vary in different areas, so it’s important to read up on the various laws in each state and territory that you will be visiting, which can be found at the following websites:
Australian Capital Territory – Transport for Canberra
New South Wales – Roads and Maritime Services
Northern Territory – Department of Transport
Queensland – Department of Transport and Main Roads
South Australia – My Licence SA
Tasmania – Department of State Growth, Transport
Victoria – VicRoads
Western Australia – Department of Transport

How to prepare your pet for a road trip

A photo posted by Pups of Sydney (@pupsofsydney) on


• Acclimatise your pet to the car in the weeks leading up to your trip. Taking your pet on short car rides around town will help them get used to the carrier/crate or pet seat belt – a must for safe travels
• Train your pet to go to the bathroom in unfamiliar places. You can try a potty cue
• Contact your vet for advice
• Plan your route, keeping in mind toilet breaks
• Pack a bag for your animal, including necessities like water, food, leash, poop bags, toys, and medicine
• Ensure you have shade for your pet in case of warm weather and that windows work for ventilation
• Secure your pet or crate to make sure it could not become a projectile hazard in case of an accident • When on the road, stick to your pet’s feeding schedule

3b. Flying holidays with your pet

A photo posted by Doggy Luxe (@doggyluxe) on


Pros:
• Usually much faster when travelling further distances
• Statistically flying is safer than travelling by bus or car
• Pets are handled by trained professionals

Cons:
• Usually the most expensive option
• Requires an air travel approved crate
• More regulations and paperwork
• There are restrictions (age, breed, health, weather) that may prevent your pet from flying
• May be stressful for pets with separation anxiety or if they are not used to the crate

Regulations
There are many regulations involved in aeroplane travel in Australia, much of which differs from one airline to another. All airlines require the pet to be carried in a IATA standard animal container. Here are some of the main regulations by airline, but be sure to read up on all relevant restrictions and guidelines via the links provided:
Qantas – On both domestic and international flights, you must book and lodge your pet through Qantas Freight prior to commencing your travel. If you plan to travel on the same flight as your pet, you will need to confirm your pet’s reservation prior to make your own booking. Quarantine regulations apply for international destinations, but also for Western Australia, Tasmania, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island and Thursday Island. You can check with the applicable state quarantine office, or ask for advice from the Qantas Contact Centre. Note that you must lodge your pet between 90 to 120 minutes prior to your flight departure. Qantas recommend that you also allow 90 minutes to collect your pet after your flight lands. For specific requirements in terms of carriage, weight and other restrictions and requirements, visit this Qantas Travelling with Pets webpage. Information on fees can be found here.
Jetstar – do not currently accept animals on board or checked. Organise your pet to travel on Qantas Freight or with Jetpets.
Virgin Australia – Transporting pets on domestic flights on A330, B737, E190 and ATR aircraft is done through Toll Group. For flights within Western Australia on F50, F100 or A320 aircraft, contact Virgin Australia Regional Airlines Freight. These need to be pre-booked via the Guest Contact Centre (pets not booked will be refused travel and sent as freight on a different flight at a higher fee). For conditions of travel, quarantine restrictions, and fees and charges with Virgin, read these guidelines carefully.
Tiger Airlines – the carriage of any live animals is strictly forbidden under any circumstances. The only exception is trained assistance dogs for travel on domestic flights.
Rex – Live domestic animals will be accepted as excess baggage except when travelling to/from Adelaide, Newcastle, Townsville, Brisbane and Cairns airports. For these airports, animals must be lodged through a freight agent. Live animals to be transported as freight must be lodged through Dogtrainers where animals are charged at the gross weight freight rate.

4. Pet-friendly accommodation and city guides

You may wish to consider travelling to a destination that does cater for animals better than others. Here is an outline of some of the pet-friendly activities, accommodation and even restaurants and cafes in some of the major cities and tourist destinations across Australia. We’ve also added 24-hour vet details in each location so you have them handy too.

4a. Pet friendly Melbourne

 

A photo posted by DOGS (@dogs.lovers) on

Pet friendly accommodation Melbourne
The Albany, South Yarra – Set in one of Melbourne’s most desirable neighbourhoods, and right between Fawkner park and the Royal Botanic Gardens – this stylish hotel also gives your pet plenty of green spaces to roam about. Their original double rooms allow for pets and there is a $20 fee per pet per night.
Quest Flemington Serviced Apartments – this self-contained option is close to the Melbourne Zoo (you’re an animal lover, right?!). A bond of $500 applies when staying with a pet, but that is refunded in full provided the apartment is left in good condition. No additional charge for taking your pet.

Activities
You love going on a winery tour, and with all those open vineyards, your dog is sure to as well! Gourmet Pawprints Doggy Winery Tours offer lunch, wine and hike tours to some of Victoria’s most beautiful wine regions – Daylesford, Yarra Valley and Mornington.

A photo posted by Gourmet Pawprints (@gourmet_pawprints) on

Cafes and Restaurants
Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy North – has a dog off-leash area and plenty of room to roam about
Lord Newry Hotel, North Fitzroy – beer garden where dogs are welcome
Fitzrovia, St Kilda – even has a dog menu with treats for your pup
Porgie & Mr Jones, Hawthorn – courtyard out back with sideway entrance for your pet

Other great options include:
Gattaca Café Bar Restaurant, St Kilda East
Mixed Business Café, Clifton Hill
Rita’s Cafeteria, Abbotsford
Cibi, Collingwood
Kanteen, South Yarra

24 Hour Vet
CARE – Centre for Animal Referral and Emergency

4b. Pet friendly Sydney

Pet friendly accommodation Sydney
The Langham Hotel Sydney – all beautiful rooms in the Langham are pet friendly. Some rules are that pets must be under 20kgs, they are not allowed to be left alone (including in the rooms), they must be accompanied when walking through common areas and are not allowed in food areas. It costs $120 per pet per night, which includes a pet bed and water and food bowls.

A photo posted by French Bulldog | Sydney (@littlejeans_bigcity) on


Larmont Sydney – by Lancemore – This contemporary Potts Point hotel allows dogs in their Courtyard Suites and Courtyard Rooms for a cost of $25 additional per night.

A photo posted by Larmont Sydney (@larmont_sydney) on

Pier One Sydney Harbour – 10 pet friendly rooms available on the waterside ground floor that opens onto the Pier. A once off fee of $65 applies for the duration of your stay.

A photo posted by Pier One Hotel (@pieronesydney) on


Medusa Boutique Hotel – Located in a pet-friendly area, with Rushcutters Bay just a short walk away that allows leash-free roaming, Medusa allows dogs at the standard room rate, in a limited number of rooms on the ground floor.
The Hughenden Boutique Hotel Sydney – this boutique hotel in fashionable Woollahra has certain pet friendly rooms available with floorboards, and they apply a flat rate of $20 per stay as an additional cleaning fee.

Activities
Bondi to Coogee Walk – one of the most popular coastal walks in the country, the full length of this walking path is open to dogs, with various parks along the way for off-leash run abouts.
Centennial Parklands – as well as being a great spot for your dog, horse riding is also allowed in the park.
Turkey’s Nest picnic area – this picnic area in the William Howe Regional Park allows dogs (provided they remain on a leash at all times) and has a lookout with views out to the Blue Mountains.
Lake Parramatta Reserve – pets are allowed, but are advised to stay out of the bush and on a leash at all times.
Glebe foreshore walk – this beautiful walk stretches from Bicentennial park to the Sydney Fish Markets and there is an off-leash area for dogs from Pope Paul Reserve to Ferry Road.

Cafes and Restaurants
Café Bones, Leichhardt – this dog-themed café serves various dog treats to keep puppy happy!

Other great options include:
The London, Paddington
Brown Sugar, Bondi
The Commons, Darlinghurst
The Norfork, Surry Hills

24 Hour Vet
Sydney University Vet Teaching Clinic

4c. Pet friendly Hobart

Pet friendly accommodation Hobart
City View Motel – located at Montague Bay just off the Tasman Highway with views overlooking Hobart, this small motel has a couple of pet friendly rooms, with prices varying depending on the season.

Activities
Knocklofty Reserve – this native bushland reserve allows off-leash dog walking.

Cafes and Restaurants
The Naked Bike Café, Geeveston – one hour (motorbike ride, naturally) south of Hobart, this café is possible because the two owners met because they both owned Alaskan Malamute dogs, so needless to say it’s a dog friendly café!

A photo posted by @thenakedbikecafe on


Other great options include:
Whisk & Co, Lenah Valley
Peppermint Bay, Woodbridge
Spectrum Café, Snug
Slice Pizza & Pasta Bar, Rokeby

24 Hour Vet
Business Hours – AHVEC – After Hours Veterinary Emergency Centre
After Hours – Hobart Animal Hospital

4d. Pet friendly Adelaide

Pet friendly accommodation Adelaide
Hilton Adelaide – This centrally located hotel overlooking Victoria Square allows pet stays. There is a $90 fee per night, plus a refundable deposit of $500 per stay. Maximum weight for pets is 34kg.
Comfort Inn Haven Marina – Located a 5-minute walk from relaxed Glenelg Beach, this budget option has select pet-friendly rooms and charge a one-off rate of $50 for a pet stay. They also help arrange dog walking and pet care services on request through Freya’s Friends.

Activities
Minkarra Park Playground and Dog Park – Located south of Adelaide centre in Onkaparinga, this park has designated dog exercise areas and even a dog agility course!

A photo posted by Dani???? (@_da_n_i_) on

National Parks South Australia – various National Parks in the Adelaide and Adelaide Hills area are listed with restrictions via this link

Cafes and Restaurants
Thyme Café, Victoria Square
Whipped Bake Bar Café , Semaphore
Zootz Kitchen Bar, Henley Beach
The Store, North Adelaide
Lakeside Cafe, Oakden

24 Hour Vet
AEC Adelaide

4e. Pet friendly Perth

Pet friendly accommodation Perth
Coranda Lodge Bed & Breakfast – this homestead accommodation, set on 18 acres of property is part of an equestrian centre, and caters to those travelling with horses for which they have packages including hard feed and hay plus use of their facilities. They also allows pets at an additional cost of $10 per night.

Activities
Whiteman Park Dog Park – located 30 minutes north east of Perth, this park is equipped with a fenced dog exercise area complete with obstacles, shade, water troughs and seating. There is also a separately fenced area for small dogs.

Cafes and Restaurants
Burns Beach Café, Iluka – has a Doggy Num Nums menu

Lovely Sunday brunch at Burns Beach Cafe with Jasper and @coreymarcusbrowne ? #burnsbeachcafe #dogcafe #lazysunday #weekend #foodporn #beach #dogsofinstagram   A photo posted by @samanthacesira on


Other great options include:
Little Stove Café, Bicton
Steve’s Fine Food and Wine, Nedlands
The Pickled Fig, South Fremantle or Scarborough
Benny’s Bar & Cafe, Fremantle

24 Hour Vet
Balcatta Vet Hospital

4f. Pet friendly Cairns

Pet friendly accommodation Cairns
Marlin Cove Resort – Set amongst a 10-acre tropical garden, this resort offers easy access to World Heritage-listed rainforest and a variety of family-friendly activities. The property has 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments available to those travelling with pets (subject to availability) and charge a $19 per night fee for your pet.

Activities
Trinity Beach – There are many dog friendly beaches in Cairns, but the most popular is Trinity Beach, where dogs are welcome from the northern end of Vasey Esplanade to the rocks and then at the southern end of the beach to the south of Peacock Street. Dogs are also allowed at adjoining Trinity Park.

  Una foto publicada por Chanel Moore (@chanelmmoorree) el


Cafes and Restaurants
Ozmosis, Edge Hill
Ten One Twenty Café, Edge Hill
Wharf One, Wharf Street

24 Hour Vet
Cairns Veterinary Clinic

4g. Pet friendly Gold Coast

Pet friendly accommodation Gold Coast
Baggs Of Canungra – This Gold Coast hinterland B&B has one Garden Room suite with a private terrace for dogs – two dog beds are available for the terrace along with pet bowls at no extra charge.

Activities
Palm Beach Dog Beach – This stretch of beach provides ample room for your dog to run wild and even have a swim. Views of Surfer’s Paradise mean that owners will enjoy it too!

A photo posted by ????? ?????? (@tiggarogers) on


Cafes and Restaurants
Kirramisu Café and Restaurant, Kirra – located opposite the dog-friendly part of Kirra Beach

Other great options include:
Alfred’s Diner, Mermaid beach
Barefoot Barista, Palm Beach Ave
Lime on Chevron, Chevron Island
Quay Street Café & Bar, Sanctuary Cove

24 Hour Vet
Animal Emergency Service

4h. Pet friendly Brisbane

Pet friendly accommodation Brisbane
Kingsford Riverside Inn – located next to the Brisbane River, this hotel has a bottom floor pet room with a lino floor – the record was 5 dogs staying in the room, so can accommodate multiple pets – no extra charge for the pets, but subject to availability.
Best Western Airport Hacienda Motel – have various pet friendly rooms on the ground floor, which are full-priced rooms, but with no additional charge for pets. Credit card details taken on arrival and a $60 cleaning fee will only be applied if needed.

Activities
Yatala Drive-In – Take your pet to the movies! Just be sure to keep it on a lead at all times.

A photo posted by ??Yatala Drive-In Theatre?? (@yataladriveintheatre) on


Nudgee Beach – this beach has a designated dog swimming area opposite an off-leash park with doggie obstacles and a picnic area.
Sweenie Reserve Dog Park – this was referred to as the Taj Mahal of dog parks, but unfortunately was damaged in the 2011 floods. This recreation spot still has off-leash areas and is equipped with doggie bags and many drinking taps for when your pup gets pooped.
Hounddog Doggie Daytrips and Holiday Care – Accessing all areas of Brisbane, this handy pet initiative run by qualified dog trainers offers dog minding and activities at both the beach and the park, as well as pickup and drop off of your pooch.

Cafes and Restaurants
Our Haus, Hawthorn – serves a lactose-free puppycino

A photo posted by @ourhauscafe on


Other great options include:
Alcove Café & Deli, Wilston
Sassafras Canteen, Paddington
Nana and Da’s, Kedron
Tall Short Espresso, Paddington
Sweet Crumbs, Ashgrove West

24 Hour Vet
Pet Emergency

4i. Pet friendly Canberra

Pet friendly accommodation Canberra
Mercure Canberra – a number of pet rooms are available in this stately hotel. They are allowed in all areas of the hotel, except for the restaurant, but there is an outside area by the restaurant where owners and their pets can eat.

A photo posted by Aston Northfield (@astondeanmartin) on

Activities
Boundless Playground – this is Canberra’s first all abilities playground, and also caters for prams and pets.
Reid Oval – where a regular group of locals with dogs congregate to socialise at sundown.
Narrabundah Neighbourhood Oval – perfectly suited for smaller dogs.
Park off Kootara Crescent near Nimbin Street Curtin Horse Paddock Walk – this 75 minute track is off-leash most of the way. Begins and ends at Curtin shops which has multiple dog friendly cafes.
Belconnen Dog Park – near Diddams Close Park which has a playground, beaches and a picnic area.
NOTE – ACT regulations state that dogs are only allowed off-leash at ovals when sport games are not in progress

Cafes and Restaurants
Red Brick Espresso, Curtin
210 Degrees Bakery and Patisserie, Hughes
Common Grounds, Gowrie
Bittersweet, Kingston
Front Gallery & Café, Lyneham
Beess & Co, Yarralumla

24 Hour Vet
Animal Emergency Centre Canberra

4j. Pet friendly Darwin

Pet friendly accommodation Darwin
Capricornia Motel – all rooms are dog friendly, but dogs need to be on a lead at all times throughout the premises. Subject to availability and upon request, management may take your dog for a walk.

Activities
Casuarina Beach – one of the most popular beaches in Darwin, the area from Rapid Creek to Dripstone Cliffs is dog friendly.
Marlow Lagoon Pet Park – there are eight obstacles in at the west end of Marlow Lagoon Reserve. There are jumps available, but be sure your dog is over one year of age (to avoid damage to immature joints).
The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens -in addition to this 130-year-old garden teeming with rare bird life like the elusive Rufous Owls, as well as stunning plant life native to the region, it also allows dog to run about unrestrained, so a must for the visiting traveller’s itinerary.
Holmes Jungle Nature Park – a series of tracks are available for horse riders, and dogs are allowed in the park, but must be kept on a lead at all times.

Cafes and Restaurants
Eva’s Botanical Gardens Café – The Gardens – café encouraging you to ‘bring the furries’ with pet bowls on hand for refreshments.

A photo posted by Eva’s Cafe (@evasbotanicgardenscafe) on

Other great options include:
Alley Cats Patisserie – Mitchell Street
Salvatores Café – Cnr Smith and Knuckey Streets

24 Hour Vet
Darwin My Vet Service

5. Advice from the experts



Katrina Warren of Dr Katrina

1. How do you prepare before travelling with your dog?
It’s always a good idea to schedule a visit to your vet a couple of weeks prior to departure to make sure your pet is up to date with worming, vaccinations, flea and tick prevention. Make sure that your dog’s microchip details are up to date with your current contact details. I recommend all dogs also wear an ID tag with your mobile number and contact number of where you are staying. For people travelling to areas on the East Coast of Australia, paralysis ticks can be a huge problem and you should start preventative treatment a couple of weeks prior to travel- speak with your vet about the best option for your dog.

2. What should you pack?

  • Your pet’s bedding
  • A couple of your dog’s favourite toys
  • A lead plus a spare
  • Shampoo and brush
  • Portable water bowl
  • A couple of towels – even if your dog wont be swimming, towels are very handy for wet and muddy paws.
  • Food – pack your dog’s regular food as you may not be able to get your food at the destination and a sudden change in diet can cause tummy upsets.
  • Tick prevention – if you are travelling to a paralysis tick area. If you are unsure, phone a vet clinic at your holiday destination and ask.

3. How can you help your dog acclimatise when arriving to your destination?
When you arrive at your destination be sure to keep your dog on a lead while you explore your new environment. Make sure you offer a toilet opportunity and have fresh water available, as many dogs get very thirsty during travel. A walk around the new area will help your dog acclimatise.


Jessica Conway of RSPCA NSW

1. What are your top tips for planning a road trip with your pet?
· Make sure your dog is microchipped and that your contact details are up to date and recorded on the microchip register. There are 6 microchip registers in Australia, make sure the one you and your dog are recorded on is recognised nationally (and not just in your state). If your register is only state-based it’s a good idea to also register on a national register This is very important so that you can be contacted if your dog is lost at any point (including interstate). Also attach an ID tag with your contact details on it to your dog’s collar. If your dog has to be registered in your state, also make sure their registration is up to date.
· Vehicle restraints for dogs are widely available and include restraints that either attach to existing seat belts or have buckles that clip directly into the seat belt. Generally, restraints may be attached to the dog’s collar or harness. Some groups advocate the use of pet transport containers or crates (appropriately secured within the car).

2. Do you have any secrets to help your pet relax before and/or during the trip?
Not all dogs love the car, so if your animal is a bit unsure of it you need to start slowly.
Start by letting them explore you stationary car. Put a few treats in there and let them suss out the space and get comfortable. The emphasis is on making it a positive fun space.
Do a number of short trips before setting off on a long journey. It’s also a really good idea to take them to fun places, like parks or for doggy-play dates. Don’t only put them in the car when they are heading to a vet, as many dogs aren’t a big fan of that experience and then associate the car with that.
When hitting the road, a familiar blanket or toy can be helpful. Also a few treats and lots of verbal encouragement and pats will ensure it’s a positive experience for them.
If your dog if prone to car-sickness, it’s worth seeing your vet who might be able to prescribe anti-nausea tablets.

3. Why do you think the number of people travelling with their pets in Australia is growing?
Pets are becoming more and more a part of Australian families and their daily lives. We’re even seeing more animals with ‘people’ names; ‘Fido’, ‘Rex’ and ‘Puss’ are on the way out, in favour of ‘David’, ‘Jeremy’ and ‘Lucy’. So it makes sense as this trend continues, people want their pet to experience the relaxing benefits of a holiday with them, and have them in all their photos!
It is also worth mentioning, dogs are really the only pets who can travel well. Leave your cats, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs and any other critters at home, as travelling is very stressful for them.


Kathy Reidy of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia

1. What advice can you give someone planning their first trip with their dog?

Do some research into pet friendly accommodation, beaches and cafes. Make sure your pet has a collar, ID tag and lead as this is required when taking your dog into public places. The most important thing for first time trip for a dog is to travel on an empty stomach. Dogs get travel sick very easily and we should also try and make the first trip a positive experience. Again, being comfortable in a crate or safely secured on the back seat, as it is now law to have our dogs secured when travelling in a vehicle.

2. What do you see as the future of pet travel?
Our pets are very important in our lives and are a part of our family, so we are taking our pets to many places these days. Having a well socialised and trained pet will ensure that wherever you go, your pet will not only be happy to be with you, but will also be welcomed.


Eloise Bright of Love That Pet

1. What advice can you give someone planning their first trip with their pet?
Many pets are instinctively good at hiding their problems, so take them for a check-up with your vet to make sure they aren’t going to get sick while you are travelling. You can also make sure that their parasite protection and vaccination is up to date and ask about any area-specific problems, such as paralysis ticks along the East Coast of Australia. For pets that get travel sickness, your vet can suggest some options to help minimise messy problems!

2. How can you help your pet acclimatise when arriving to your destination?
When you arrive, set your pet up with food, water and a bed and show them where to toilet. Use lots of treats to encourage them to stay on their bed and reward calm, quiet behaviour. If you are travelling with a dog, get them out for a big walk to burn off some energy after the journey and try not to leave them alone in your room immediately. Most dogs will sleep up to 16 hours a day if sufficiently exercised, so you can use this to your advantage when travelling by taking them out for big, regular walks and keeping them in a nice regular routine. Cats thrive even more so on routine, so a regular schedule (or patting, grooming and playtime), similar to what they are used to at home will help them settle in.


Janine Janides of Jetpets

1. Why do you think the number of people travelling with their pets is on the rise in Australia?
More than ever before, owners interact with their pets like they are part of the family. This is particularly the case with dogs, with the key reason for owning a dog centred around companionship. For dog owners wishing to take their furry friend on holidays there’s growing awareness that this does not need to be limited to a road trip and can in fact involve a plane and an interstate destination.

2. What do you see as the future of pet travel?
I see more and more pets enjoying interstate holidays with their owners. I see a future where pet travel lounges are common place for pets at airports, making their travel journey that little bit more entertaining!

3. What is the most unusual pet people travel with?
Over the years Jetpets has transported thousands and thousands of pets, some of which haven’t been your typical dog or cat. Just recently we have moved a pet ferret to USA, as well as goldfish, lizards, snakes, miniature pigs and macaws! You name, we can move it!


Natalie Krotova of Ozzi Cat Magazine

1. When travelling with cats, what are the things you wouldn’t leave home without?
You will need to take a few things with you when travelling with cats. It depends on the transportation you use, the distance, and how long the trip is.

1. For any trip you will need to have at least a pet carrier and water.

2. If the trip takes more than two hours, take a litter box with litter familiar to the cat. You can use an ordinary box-like litter tray and cover its top with a litter box liner. This will prevent the litter flying all over the car.

3. Try not to feed your cat several hours before a trip to avoid vomiting. For long trips take a few kibbles or the cat’s preferred food with you.

4. If your cat requires a medical treatment, carry enough medication. Have print outs of the medical records and your veterinary clinic’s contact details.

5. I also recommend having a cat leash. Train your cat to use it before the trip.

2. Do you have any secrets to help your cat relax before and/or during the trip?
Cats like an established routine and a familiar environment. The best secret is to avoid travelling, if possible. Travelling is a big change for cats. It puts majority of them under stress. To reduce stress:

• Make your cat familiar and get used to a carrier box long before the trip. While at home, leave the carrier in a calm place. Keep it opened and remove the carrier’s door for safety. Put treats and drop toys into the carrier, making getting into the carrier a game for the cat.

• While travelling, put familiar items close to the cat. For example, a blanket that the cat likes to sleep on or a t-shirt with your smell.

• Some cats are calm in a car and even like to watch what is going on around. Others easy stress out and prefer to hide. Know what type your cat is. If your cat is calm and curious in a car, let her watch around while restrained. Do not allow her to wander in a car to avoid potential injuries and a car accident. If your cat gets stressed, keep her in a carrier and talk to her with a calm voice. Before the trip you can spray the carrier with a special solution that can calm down the cat, e.g. Feliway.

3. How can you help your cat acclimatise when arriving to your destination?
When you arrive at your destination, your cat will be tired, stressed, and in a new environment. To help the kitty acclimatise, put her in a small calm room with her litter box, water, and food. Let her explore the new place one step at a time.

I used to carry my cat in my hands showing her around a new place. While doing that, I was giving her various things to smell so she could get used to the new environment. This worked for my cat, as she liked to be carried like a baby. This might not work for all cats.

This can help your cat:

• Put things with the cat’s and your smell (e.g. blankets, t-shirts) around the new place. This might help your cat to associate the new place with her place.

• Make the cat feel safe – allow an easy access to high places, like a tall cat tree or non-slippery shelves. Provide places for hiding, e.g. a box.

• Play with the cat in the new place. Talk to her in a calm and encouraging voice. Feed her the food she likes. Give the cat time to get used to the new place.

I also recommend keeping an eye on the cat’s emotional and physical state after a long trip. Have a veterinarian contact at hand, in case you will have any concerns or worries.


Dr Joanne Righetti of PetProblemSolved

1. How do you prepare your pet before travelling?
Weeks before: Have your pet fully vaccinated, treated for parasites and have supplies of any medications you may need while travelling. Ensure that your pets tag and microchip details are up to date. If your pet is not used to travel eg. car journeys, start short trips weeks before. If your pet is going by air, book into the relevant service and check that you meet their requirement regarding crates etc. If your pet is travelling in a crate, get them used to this gradually weeks before they travel, by putting a little food or treats and their blanket/bed inside. Make it positive and your pet will wish to enter.

Hours before: Walk your dog or play with your cat to get them tired prior to travelling. Give them water and a little to eat but don’t overdo it, as some pets can get travel sick. Pack all necessary items like leads, beds, food bowls, food and toys.

On the journey: If you are travelling by car, have regular breaks – every 2 hours to let your pet toilet and stretch their legs. Keep your pet on a lead, as they could get lost should they stray away. Play calming music, spray some lavender or pheromones (Feliway, Adaptil) to keep everything calm.

2. When travelling with pets, what are the 3 things you won’t leave home without?
I would take my pet’s food. Upset tummmies are not pleasant on your holiday so keep their diet the same as at home.
An occupier or two such as a food- releasing toy. There are times that you leave your pet alone and you do NOT want them to rip up your holiday accommodation, so give them something to do.
A sense of humour and a lot of patience! It is an adventure and you never know what’s going to happen.

3. How can you help your pet acclimatise when arriving to your destination?
Take your pet around the home/hotel that you will be staying, letting them sniff.(It;s probably wise to let them have a toilet break prior to taking them indoors or set your cat’s litter tray up immediately on arrival.) Try to read the rules about where they are allowed eg. not on beds. If you wish them on furniture, put their blanket on top, as this collects any shed hair and muddy paw prints.
Take them outdoors, on a lead to familiarise them with the environment. Keep their routines eg. meal times, walks, the same as home. Do not let your dog off lead when on holiday, except in a fully fenced area. Look up council websites for off-leash areas, if your dog is dog-friendly.

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This post first appeared on Hotels.com Australia, please read the originial post: here

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