A portrait of an attractive young African woman with curly hair laying on the carpet, while playing with a little cat. [Getty Images]

If you ever find yourself suffering from guilt or separation anxiety at the thought of going away without your beloved companion, you are not alone.

Many pet owners go through the agony of getting a trusted minder who will care enough to make sure their lovely pets are well taken care of. This, however, does not negate fears of leaving your telescope eye goldfish in the hands of a stranger.

If you really want your furry bestie around, you have to put in some work. Here are a few guidelines you should consider when travelling with your pet.

When planning a flight, inquire on whether or not the airline can accommodate pets. Take note of the number of pets allowed, carrier size permitted additional fees and other requirements such as vaccines that must be administered. 

And make sure you visit the vet for a check-up. This will clear your furry friend of any health concerns that may arise. You need to be prepared for anything because some pets get car sick or an upset stomach which is triggered by stress and may need special treatment prior to travelling.

Do a test run. This is great when planning a road trip. It’s best to practice travelling for a short distance with your pet in order to gauge how comfortable they are. You will be able to notice whether your pet has a traveller’s anxiety and consult your vet on the best way to deal with this. During this period, you can also shop for a comfortable carrier with enough room and ventilation.

When planning a trip, make sure you carry required health certifications such as vaccination documentation or a letter from the vet.

It is also advisable to carry extra name tags with your contact information on them. ‘Live animal’ labels to attach to the carrier can come in handy and serve as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of your pet.

Ensure you carry enough food and water for your pet. Carrying your pet’s toys or blanket will enable it to be more relaxed and reduce stress levels for a smooth journey.

When travelling by road, it is advisable that you make stopovers every two to three hours. This allows time for stretching as well as bathroom breaks.

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