5 min read
By Kim Rain
Published: 05/05/2021, edited: 09/24/2021
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Taking trips are fun! And whether traveling by plane, car or RV, having your favorite furbaby along for the ride makes the experience even better! But if you have an older pet, you may be wondering if they can handle the journey.
Can a dog or cat be too old to travel? Are there special considerations when planning a trip with your elderly pet? And are there things you can do to make the experience better for your furry pal?
In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more to
help you decide if your older dog or cat is able to travel with you on your
Can a pet be too old to travel? They absolutely can be, but deciding what age is too old for the journey can be difficult. There is no standard age that denotes a dog or cat being too old, as it depends on several factors.
For one, animals age differently. Cats are considered seniors when they reach 10 years old. For a dog, it depends on their size, as large and giant dogs can be considered seniors around 7 to 8 years of age, medium sized dogs around age 10, and small dogs at age 11. There’s a lot of variability in this general guideline, as genetic components of each breed can also play a factor in aging, and not all dogs of the same breed or size will age the same.
You’ll actually need to consider the medical issues of your aging dog or cat. Some animals can lose their sight or hearing, gain weight, develop painful joint issues such as arthritis, or have problems with holding their bladder or bowels. Older animals can also develop heart or breathing problems, diabetes, or mobility issues. These medical conditions can severely limit your dog or cat in what they can do, and are a much better indicator of whether or not your pet can handle a trip.
And don’t furget about your dog or cat’s temperament. Do they accept new situations with ease, or do they get anxious and confused? Or are they experiencing cognitive dysfunction syndrome, or dementia in pets, which can make any environmental change traumatic.
You see, it’s really more about your pet’s particular
situation, not just their age, that will tell you if they are able to travel
with you, or if they’d be better off staying at home. Let’s take a look at the
rigors of traveling to see if your dog or cat is up for the ride.
One of the first things you’ll need to consider when planning a trip is how you’ll get there. Whether flying or driving, each way has its own set of challenges for you and your older pet.
Traveling by Plane
Traveling by Car or RV
You’ll need to take all the issues your dog or cat is currently experiencing and decide what is the best way to travel for their needs. Often, traveling by car or RV is the better route, as you have much more control over the daily routine and their comfort level, and can immediately deal with situations as they occur.
But if your dog or cat cannot handle being in a carrier for
long hours, can’t take sedatives to relieve anxiousness, or needs round the
clock medical care, they may very well be too old for the trip. In these cases,
it may be better to leave your dog or cat at home with a reliable pet sitter or boarder where they
will be comfortable and safe.
Whether you are moving, or cannot leave your pet with a sitter, there are times you’ll need to take your pet with you, regardless of their condition. In addition to the basic steps you’ll need to take for plane and car travel, you can help make the journey easier for your aging bud with these tips.
Taking a pause for your cat or dog’s needs is easy, and absolutely
worth their happiness and your peace of mind. If a trip just isn’t in the cards
for your favorite furry friend, a compassionate and experienced pet sitter or boarder can keep them safe until
you return. Bon Voyage!
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