Pet Care

Stress Free pet car transport tips for your next move, road trip, or vet visit.

Stress Free pet car transport tips for your next move, road trip, or vet visit.

Whether you're moving with multiple cats on a long road trip or taking your dog on a short trip to the vet, mastering how to travel with pets can be tricky business. Many pets don't like being removed from their comfort zone and will vocally express their dissatisfaction. Others might get motion sickness or severe anxiety on a long trip in moving vehicles. These  tips can make car traveling easier for your pet and you. 

  1. Pet carriers and crates are the safest option. 
    Keeping cats and dogs contained in a pet carrier and/or crate is a good idea that ensures they're not injured if you're in an accident or need to make a hard stop during a car trip. Look for big or small dog crates that can be secured to the seat. It can be a hassle to figure out how to get a cat into a carrier, but once they're in you can use the seat belt to hold a cat carrier in place to prevent too much movement. (Here's a guide to getting your cat into their carrier without too much stress!)  

  2. Keep cats and dogs in the back seat. 
    Your trusty co-pilot belongs in the back seat during car travel, where an airbag won't injure them if you happen to be in an accident.

  3. Consider medication.
    Some pets who get anxious during car travel may benefit from anti-anxiety medication or a mild sedative prescribed by your veterinarian. Additionally, there are also over-the-counter nutraceuticals that can help for more milder cases to make sure you can keep your dog or cat calm. CBD is a natural option that may have calming effects on pets during a car trip. There may be some variability between large and small pets in how they react to these medications, so it's always a good idea to try them out at home prior to the day of your vet visit. Some pets also can get car sick! Typically these pets will vomit or drool excessively. If this is the case, your veterinarian may recommend anti-nausea medication for a long distance or short trip.

    As always, talk to your veterinarian before giving your pet a sedative or supplement. 

  4. Make time for potty breaks.
    Avoid an accident in the car with frequent potty breaks at rest stops with designated dog areas. On long car journeys, dogs will appreciate a stop here and there to relieve themselves and stretch their legs. Your feline friend should have an easily accessible litter box or litter tray, such as one that's built into a cat carrier or crate. Make sure you're using an odor-absorbing kitty litter to keep the car ride pleasant for everyone!

  5. Pack a bag with pet essentials. 
    For shorter trips, you might want to bring along things like their favorite cat food, treats, or a toy. A piece of clothing or a blanket with a familiar scent that smells like you (or is sprayed with calming pheromones) can soothe travel anxiety too. For longer trips, you'll want to bring food, a water bowl, a toy, a litter box, doggie bags, leashes/collars, etc. We created a helpful checklist (one for cats and one for dogs) to prepare for a vet visit.

  6. Get pets microchipped for peace of mind.
    This tiny chip the size of a grain of rice will come to the rescue if your furry friend ever gets lost! Stuff can happen, especially in the midst of moving or in an unfamiliar place, and a microchip can help you be reunited with your best friend.

  7. Never leave your pet unattended in a car.
    Here's a reminder to never leave your pet in the car alone. Cars can get hot in the summer, putting your pet at risk for overheating. If you do need to leave them in the car, have a family member stay behind with them and provide a bowl of water.

  8. Bonus: Pet Telehealth
    Papaya Pet's Veterinary Care app lets current pet parents who have established care with Papaya Pet do online vet visits! Why travel with a pet if you don't have to by letting your pet get the care they need right from your phone.

How to Travel Safely with Pets on Planes

To travel with your pet on a flight, only small pets that can fit into a pet container under your cabin seat are eligible to be your passenger. Restrictions vary airline to airline, but typically your pet must be under 15 pounds. Your pet carrier also must be airline-approved and must have enough room for them to turn around and lay down. Your approved service animal or emotional support animal may be able to surpass these restrictions.

What airlines can you and your pet fly?

Luckily, there are many pet-friendly airlines in the United States to travel on with your pet dog or cat. Some of these include American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, and Delta Airlines. If you have a connecting flight, don't forget to take advantage of pet relief areas in the airport.

International flights

You may find an international flight to be more complicated than a domestic flight while traveling with your pet. If you're planning on traveling internationally with your pet, make sure you are prepared.
On international flights, you can have your small pet in the cabin with you in a carrier under the seat, or check your pet as cargo. The best option for you may vary based on airline and your destination.

Disease control is a high priority especially during international air travel, and animal vaccines are crucial. Live animals on an international flight can pose a health risk, so have your pet health record handy and make sure you have a health certificate for pet travel as well as a pet passport, and you will be ready for a successful trip!


With patience, the right tools, and our approach, your pet and you have smooth travels ahead, short or long distances. If you need additional guidance on traveling with pets, don't hesitate to reach out to our veterinarians at Papaya Pet Care.

For other questions that may arise when it comes to proper pet care, look no further than Papaya Pet Care. Whether you're wondering about the best practices when it comes to dog dental care, plants that are toxic to dogs and cats, how to treat dog allergies, and more, Papaya Pet Care is here to help.


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