Are you picking your next locum tenens assignment and have a furry or feathered friend you want to bring along for the adventure? Well, you’re in luck because many staffing agencies are more than willing to help you find pet-friendly housing options. You just need to let them know that you have a pet before you accept a locum tenens job. But what other things do you need to know if you’re traveling with pets?
Locum Tenens Tips for Traveling with Pets
Choosing to bring your favorite furry (or feathered) friend with you for your assignment has many benefits.
What could be better than coming home to your favorite familiar face after a long day of work in an unfamiliar place? There is stress involved with traveling and adjusting to a new place. That goes for you and your pet. Before we start talking about driving or flying tips, let’s look at what to pack when traveling with pets.
Checklist: What to Bring When Traveling with Pets
Be sure that before you hit the road or the air with your furry friend, that you make sure you have all of these items:
- A good quality leash
- A collar and ID with your current contact information
- Food and water bowls
- Food (and some extra, just in case)
- Toys and chew toys
- Baby wipes or paper towels
- Puppy pads/disposable litter box
- Waste removal bags
- A flashlight (for night walks)
- Vaccination records
Travel Tips: Flying with Pets
Before you decide that you are going to fly, there are a couple things you should take into consideration regarding your furry friend and the skies.
How long is your assignment?
Animals like cats and dogs are typically happiest in their normal familiar surroundings.
If you are working a locum tenens assignment for a short duration, say one or two weeks, it would probably be best to leave your furry friend with a friend or family member at hom.
Also, think about how much downtime you will have to spend with your animal. While a cat may be okay without much attention, not all pets will be. If you know you’re going to be working long hours and not be able to properly care for your pet, it is probably better that you leave them with a sitter. No matter how much you miss them.
Can your pet fly with you?
Though most major airlines now allow pets to travel, each airline is allowed to make their own rules regarding their pet travel policy. Before booking a flight, check what that airline’s policies are regarding pet travel. Will your pet be able to be in the cabin with you or be stowed in the cargo hold? Typically pets less than 20 pounds will be able to fly in the cabin if there is enough space, but fees will apply.
Obviously, it will be harder for larger animals to be able to fly, but did you know some airlines also restrict what types of breeds can fly? For example, animals with “pushed-in” faces, like pugs, bulldogs, or Persian cats should not fly. Their shorter nasal passages can prove problematic or even deadly during flight, especially if there are in the cargo hold.
Airline travel tips
- Before booking, find out all the policies regarding traveling with pets
- Book early and contact the airline in advance so they know you plan to fly with a pet on the flight
- Most airlines will allow pets in the cabin as long as the crate will fit in the seat underneath you
- There will likely be a fee for flying with your pet
- Ask if there are any specific pet health or immunization requirements that you need to meet
- If you will be renting a car upon arrival to your destination, be sure to check their pet policies
- Put your pet on a leash/harness before putting them in the pet carrier
- This will help keep your pet contained when going through airport security
- See if the airport will allow you to do a special screening to allow your pet to remain in the carrier
- If you have to put your pet in cargo hold, when you board the plane, tell the captain and at least one of the flight attendants
- Be sure to read the dangers of animals in the cargo hold from the Humane Society of the US so you can take proper safety measures for your pet
- Unless prescribed by a veterinarian, do not give your pets tranquilizers
- Do not feed your pet four to six hours before flying
- Use direct flights if possible
- When you reach your destination, get your pet and examine them to be sure they made it through the flight okay
Travel Tips: Driving with a Pet
If you happen to be driving to your next locum tenens position, there are few things that you will want to keep in mind during your travels. Think about how long your drive will be. Has your pet ever traveled long distances by car? If not, try taking your pet on some “practice” trips to see how they fare. Other tips include:
Don’t drive with your pet in your lap
While most dogs would love to sit on their owner’s lap with their head out a window, it is actually extremely dangerous for your furry friend, and for you. Even if your pet is in the passenger seat, in the instance of an accident, small dogs and cats may jump to the floor and get behind your brake, prohibiting you from being able to stop the car. Or worse, if they are sitting in your lap during a crash, they could be crushed between your body and the steering wheel or airbag.
Use a crate or carrier
Depending on the size of your pet and the type of vehicle that you are driving, you have a plenty of ways to travel safely with your animal. Smaller animals should be put in a carrier and larger animals should be put in a crate. Be sure that the crate or carrier will not fall or slide around in the event of a sudden stop or a sharp turn.
Be careful when shopping for safety harnesses. Some are not strong enough to keep your animal safe during an accident. The same goes for doggie car seats. Dog car seats are typically padded and raised, allowing your pet to have a view through your window.
When traveling with pets, don’t leave them in your car unattended for any reason. We all know what happens to people or animals that are stuck in a car on a hot day. Before letting your animals get out of the car, be sure to have them leashed. Dogs that are not leashed or harness may become overly excited and run away, getting lost in an unfamiliar place.
You’re not the only one that’s “gotta go”
Be sure to take frequent breaks to allow your pet to stretch their legs, get some exercise, and use the bathroom.
What are you waiting for?
Now that you know some of the considerations when traveling with pets for your next locum tenens assignment, what are you waiting for? Talk to your staffing agency about pet-friendly accommodations and go on your next locum tenens adventure. Don’t have a staffing agency? We can gather some information from you and help you find a locum tenens staffing agency that meets your needs!