If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to imagine going on a long trip without your pet. While I’m not a travel nurse, I would hate to go on a 13-week assignment without my precious pup, Millie. Have you been in a similar situation? Do you want to be a travel nurse, but are hesitant because of your pet? If so, you’re in luck! Below, we’ve got some great tips on travel nursing with pets, what to expect, and how to make it work.
Tips for Travel Nursing With Pets
How to Prepare
If you’ve made the decision to bring your furry friend with you on assignment, there are a few things to keep in mind before you pack your bags:
- Talk with your recruiter about pet-friendly accommodations. While many housing assignments welcome pets, most will require you to pay a pet deposit for each animal you bring. Be sure to get all of this squared away before you leave home.
- Talk to your vet before you leave. Your vet can provide you with your pet’s medical records if you need them, as well as update your pet on his or her vaccinations. It’s essential for your pet to be up to date on their shots and licenses before traveling. In addition, if your pet gets anxious or nauseous while traveling, your vet could provide you with some medication to help.
- Consider a microchip for your pet. If you haven’t already, microchipping your pet before you go on assignment is a good move. A lost pet can be a terrible experience, especially if you’re far away from home. Visit your vet or an animal shelter to get your pet microchipped for a small fee.
- Make your pet as comfortable as possible. Traveling to a new place can be uncomfortable and scary for them too. Be sure to pack your pet’s toys, beds, treats, or anything else to help them feel more at ease.
Making the Trip
Depending on whether you’ll be traveling by car or plane, there are some steps you should take to make sure your fluffy companion has a safe journey:
Traveling by Car
Most travel nurses drive to their assignments, so make sure you’re practicing proper pet safety in the car.
- Keep them crated. For your pet’s safety, don’t let them roam around the car while you’re driving. Although your dog may love sticking his head out the window, this could be dangerous in the event of an accident or flying debris particles. Keep your pet in a crate in the back seat.
- Make plenty of rest stops. It’s crucial for you to ensure that your pet gets plenty of fresh air and time to walk around while you’re on the trip.
- Never leave your pet alone in the car. Hopefully this one’s obvious, but it’s one of the most important tips for traveling with pets in the car. The Humane Society of the United States notes that even if it’s pleasant and 72 degrees outside, your car could reach 116 degrees within an hour.
Traveling by Plane
If you’re travel nursing with pets, driving to your assignment is typically a better option than flying. However, if driving isn’t an option, follow these tips for traveling by plane:
- Check airline rules beforehand. Some airlines have unique requirements when it comes to traveling with pets. If you have a cat or a small dog, most airlines will allow you to keep your pet in a crate under your seat in the cabin. Some airlines also have immunization and carrier requirements, so take note of everything ahead of time!
- Know the risks. If you can’t keep your pet in the cabin with you, make sure you know the dangers of flying your pet in the cargo hold. If the temperature is too hot or too cold, pets may not be allowed to fly in the cargo area. Check before you travel!
At Your Assignment
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, here are some things to consider to help your pet (and you!) adjust to your new location:
- Arrive a few days early. If possible, this will help your furry friend adjust to his or her new surroundings.
- Explore the area. Take a walk around your neighborhood to meet other pet owners and/or travel nurses. If you can, bring your pet on the walk with you.
- Find a pet sitter. Especially if it’s just you and your pet, finding a pet sitter may be necessary for travel nurses. Websites like PetSitters.org and Rover.com allow you to find pet sitters or dog walkers in your area.
All in all, if you have the opportunity for travel nursing with pets, take it! Exploring a new city with your four-legged friend is extremely rewarding, and it can help you make new friends and feel more at home!
Do you have any experience travel nursing with pets? Let us know in the comments below!