It’s a subject pet owners might be thinking of for the future. Think carefully about it, as ideally, pets shouldn’t travel, and certainly not fly, unless you are moving permanently or taking a really long trip.

It’s best to leave them at home, and get yourself a pet sitter - ideally to move into your home, which will cause the least stress to your pet. A friend or family member could take them in temporarily, or you could board them at a licensed facility. Yes, you will miss them, but it’s likely better for your pet in the long run.

I’m not sure that it’s possible to fly with them right now anyway thanks to Covid, and you would need to check with your airline first. If flying is your only choice, you may have the option to take them on board with you, depending on which airline you are using. It will also depend on their size, as they will need to be in a carrier that is big enough for them to stand up or sit erect in without touching the sides.

Your pet can typically only fly in the cabin as a carry-on—if they are small enough to fit in a carrier under the seat in front of you, which pretty much rules out larger dogs, who would have to be shipped in a container in the hold, and it may be the hold is the only way that some airlines will fly your pet, regardless of size.

Another method of travelling would be by courier. Be selective, and make sure whoever you pick has appropriate credentials or is at least recommended. We used one to bring our dogs into Portugal who was DEFRA (UK Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) approved - we provided the food used to last the whole trip and something that smelled of us as bedding. They had their own separate cages in an air-conditioned vehicle and stopped overnight at pet-friendly hotels along the way.

Lastly, you can take them with you in your own car. Have them wear a harness or a clip-on safety strap to prevent injury, and if in a carrier, that should be anchored down too. Make sure they are neither too hot or cold, have shade, you have enough food and water on board to last the trip, and stop for ‘comfort breaks’ as appropriate. Don’t leave them unattended in a locked car while you go off for a coffee or lunch – how many times do we read distressing stories about pets coming to grief through this.

Let me tell you a story about transporting my two cats. One of them used to get travel sick just looking at the car, and a trip to the cattery would start with him wailing in such a forlorn way, followed by a waft of smells, which let me know the poor soul was being ‘ill’ both ends. The cattery was no more than a mile away, and we would get this performance every trip. Then came the time when we drove from UK to Ireland with them, and a prior consultation with the vet suggested we ‘knock him out’ for the journey, which sounded good to me, but we had to get him to the vet en-route, so that entailed listening to the wailing and smelling the smells, and a complete change of bedding before even leaving the county. But it worked, and anyone looking through the car window would have seen this drugged up cat, looking like he’d been on a heavy night of catnip, with his eyes almost rolled back and a silly smile on his face.

Anyway, wherever you are going, ensure your pet is microchipped, which is easily done at your vets, and chipping is mandatory anyway, travelling or not. The 15 digit ISO pet microchip is the world standard, and if your pet has a nine or ten digit chip, you can choose to have a 15 digit pet microchip implanted, or you will need to carry your own microchip scanner.

Current rabies shots are necessary, and you should check before heading off if there are any others needed in your destination country, and they will need a pet passport with certification from a vet.

Oh, and make sure your pets have a collar with your phone number on it – if your fur-babies do a runner en-route, you’ll have more chance of being reunited!