January 20, 2013

Have Pet, Will Travel

Are we there yet?

We all know the old saying, “Dog is man’s best friend” but at Travel Nurse across America we have seen all kinds of best friends: from dogs, cats and ferrets to guinea pigs. Yes, I said guinea pigs! Pets are just like family members and many travelers bring their beloved pets on assignment with them.

However, there are challenges that come when traveling with pets. Ensuring your pet will adjust well to the new environment and securing lodging that will allow pets, are a few. Travel Nurse across America recommends all travelers be prepared to address a variety of issues before making the decision to travel with their pets.

Before you leave for your assignment, assess your pet’s behavior and make sure they’ll travel well and adjust to the new environment. You may want to discuss medication options with your veterinarian, especially if your pet is prone to anxiety issues. Make sure your pet’s shots are up to date and request a copy of their records from your vet to carry with you. Some properties or private owners will require you to provide vaccination records and/or a photo of your pet at the time of move-in. Also, pet records are good to have if you find it necessary to take your pet to the vet while on assignment.

Today, more property owners are accepting travelers with pets, but it may come with a price. Usually you can expect to pay both a refundable deposit and a non-refundable pet fee. Deposits and fees vary based on the size, breed, etc. Some properties also charge pet rent. Pet rent can range from $10-$50 per month, per pet. If you pay a refundable deposit, you need to allow up to 90 days, after your assignment ends, for the refund to be processed.

Along with deposits, it’s common for properties and furniture vendors to charge for flea and pet odor treatments, additional carpet cleaning, pet stain removal, hair removal from furniture, etc. Most properties and vendors have specific policies regarding pets, as well as the measures they have to take for the rental unit and furniture to be considered sanitized and allergen free. Carpet, tile, furniture, etc., can be very costly to repair or replace. It is recommended that you use preventive measures, such as dog walking services, doggie daycare, crate training or “puppy pads”, to ensure that your pet does not get bored and destructive with the property or contents.

All in all, having a pet, or pets in some cases, should not prevent you from traveling. Though it may add some extra challenges, the rewards of sharing your journey with your beloved friend can make it all worthwhile!