Travelling with your Companion
Travelling with a dog on the back of a bakkie – tied or otherwise – is unacceptable. This practice poses dangers not only for the dog itself but for other road users and pedestrians.
"Don't do it” is the best advice we can give.
The dreadful practice of transporting pets inside a furniture van is also unacceptable for obvious reasons. There are documented cases of accidents on the road and pets escaping or being left inside the vehicle for prolonged periods and suffering terribly.
Pets are not furniture.
If travelling by road with a pet
- FEED LIGHTLY two to three hours before departure. Don't feed your animal in a moving vehicle.
- BRING THE BASICS with you such as food and water, bowls, leashes, a "poop scoop”, plastic bag etc. Unexpected delays may mean you might have to use any or all of them.
- IDENTIFY YOUR PET. Microchip identification is recommended. We suggest that for a journey of considerable distance (such as when relocating to another province), you might wish to place a temporary disc on your pet's collar. This would give the destination information and a cell phone contact number.
- HARNESS rather than leash your dog inside the vehicle. For smaller animals, a well-ventilated crate is recommended.
- KEEP HEADS INSIDE THE VEHICLE for safety's sake. If a pet hangs its head outside a moving vehicle, it can lead to injuries from flying objects, inner ear damage or even lung infections. It's safer all round to keep those heads inside.
- CONSIDER BARRIERS for what is the pet carrying area, be it the back seat, the "hatch” part of the vehicle or beneath the bakkie's canopy. It is much safer especially in the event of an accident or sudden braking. It might be a good idea to water-proof seat covers with a thick plastic and to do the same to floors in the vehicle for ease of clean-up in accidents do happen.
- Flying with your pet can be a perilous proposition. Our advice is don't do it for frivolous reasons. Travelling by air with your pet is necessary when you are relocating to another province or country. Some airlines even permit a pet in the cabin of the aircraft – suitably boxed, of course. If you must fly with an animal, then take these steps to make sure you and your pet arrive at your destination safely.
- SEE YOUR VET Check out any requirements and make sure that all vaccinations are up-to-date before the trip.
If travelling by air with a pet
TELL AIRLINE EMPLOYEES
Let your travel agent and flight attendants know that you are travelling with a pet. They can help out if any delays or snags occur.
CARRY A PHOTO
Just in case something does go wrong, have a photo handy. Microchip identification plus a collar and tag are essential.
USE A CRATE
The pet carrying box should ideally be large enough for your pet to stand and to change position comfortably. Make sure that "LIVE ANIMAL” is written largely in bold letters on top and it might help to add a photo of the animal to the top of the crate as well. Also, make sure that all travel and destination information are written in the crate.
Updated: 29 November 2012