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Pets are just like family members and many travelers bring their beloved pets on assignment with them. However, there are challenges that come along with traveling with pets. Ensuring your pet will adjust well to the new environment and securing lodging that will allow pets are just 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.
At Travel Nurse Across America, we know that traveling with pets is important to many travel nurses, and so is keeping them healthy. That’s why we offer Pet Assure and Pet Plus to our suite of benefits for each traveler. Pet Assure is a veterinary discount plan, and members save 25% on all in-house medical services at participating veterinarians. Pet Assure covers every type of pet with absolutely no exclusions. PETPlus is a prescription savings plan that includes a 24/7 Pet Help Line, and members receive wholesale pricing of up to 50% off on brand-name prescriptions, flea & tick products, vitamins and supplements, heartworm preventatives and specialty and prescription food. Same day pick-up is available for most prescriptions at over 50,000 Caremark® pharmacies nationwide.
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 your pets’ 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 its contents.
All in all, having a pet 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!