It is not unusual these days for people to take their emotional support animals (ESAs) with them wherever they go. After all, these animals provide vital comfort and support in difficult times. However, traveling with an ESA can be intimidating for the animal, especially if they’ve never done something similar. Make the trip as easy and stress-free for your ESA with these tips to help make your travel experience as smooth as possible:
Familiarize Them With Travel
If your ESA’s first time being around large groups of people in travel settings is the first time you’re traveling with them, it can cause them great anxiety. The good news is that with ESA registration, they can travel with you and be in public travel centers, so you can get them used to the environment before the travel day comes.Consider bringing them to the airport a few times before the day of your flight if that’s your mode of transport so that they can get used to the smells and crowds in smaller doses. You may also consider taking them along on a bus or train ride before moving on to planes.
Cut Off Food or Water
It’s best to cut your animal’s food and water off a few hours before traveling. It will help minimize the risk of them getting sick during the trip. Aim to cut them off from their regular meals and water for five hours before the flight, so they don’t have to use the restroom during travel time.To be safe, consider lining their carrier with kennel pads just in case an accident happens. Pack a few extra in your carry-on to replace the pads as needed.
Consider Anti-Anxiety Medication
If you think your ESA may have trouble adjusting or may show signs of anxiety, consider asking your veterinarian for anti-anxiety or tranquilizing medication that you can give before the day of travel. It can do wonders in relieving their stress and helping them sleep through most of the travel day, making it easier for you as well.
Bring Comforts of Home
Bring along some comforts from home to make your ESA feel as comfortable as possible. This may include their favorite toy, blanket, or anything else that makes them feel safe and happy.
When packing your carry-on, pack these items near the top so you can grab them during the trip if your animal gets restless or agitated. Bringing some bones, chew toys, or treats can also incentivize them to behave or give them something productive to focus on during the journey.
Wrapping Up – A Pleasant Travel Day For Your ESA
Familiarizing your emotional support animal with the travel process ahead of time, bringing along comforts from home, and having a few contingency plans in place will help make the day go by without a hitch. By following these tips, you can help make traveling with your emotional support animal a smooth and stress-free experience for everyone involved.