So, here you are about to embark on your first travel assignment and the burning question begs your inner being: What am I going to do about my four-legged friend?
Never fear! With a little planning and preparation, you will soon realize that traveling with a dog (or any fur baby aboard) could not be easier. Your options are limitless for a stress-free pet travel. Having a pet along with you on your travel adventure, whether you are traveling cross-country by land or air, has its rewards.
After a long, 12-hour shift, having someone to come "home" to can turn a bad, exhausting day into a great evening full of loving attention, which can help curb feelings of loneliness and/or homesickness.
The good news is that many travel nurses have seamlessly integrated their pooches into their travel careers and have found that having their pet along for the ride has proven to be a source of comfort and constant companionship. We have a few suggestions to make your trip successful.
Before You Leave
Visit your veterinarian prior to leaving. Bring an updated copy of your animal’s vaccines, including rabies, as it may be requested at your temporary residence or even by the airline, if that's how you'll be travelling.
On the road, keep your dog properly restrained in your vehicle, either in a car seat, seat belt or crate to prevent injury in a car accident.
Make sure information on your dog’s tag is correct, so you can be contacted in the event of a separation.
Exercise your dog thoroughly the day before and the day of travel, which will aid in keeping him calm, cool, and collected in the car or plane.
Remember that many hotels have a limited amount of “dog friendly“ rooms, so book your hotel well in advance of travel or consider alternative lodging. When it comes to finding the best place to stay, search online for the best pet-friendly accommodations such as Airbnb. Bringfido.com and peoplewithpets.com offer pet friendly apartments and short-term housing solutions for many travel RNs, which you can absolutely apply your travel stipend towards.
If flying, keep in mind storing pets in the cargo are could cost up to $250, or crating your pet in the main cabin could cost around $100 depending on the airline. The rules of air travel vary greatly from airline to airline, so be sure to research airline regulations prior to departure. There are many considerations that may include but are not limited to: size of your dog, breed, vaccines, health certificates, crate requirements and time of year travel.