If you are thinking about travel nursing with a pet, there are many factors to take into consideration before taking the plunge. Whether your best friend is a seasoned traveler or new to the nomad life, bringing your pet on travel nursing assignments is a big step for both of you. Here are a few tips to make the transition easy on your pet and keep the stress levels down for you as an owner.
Tell your recruiter!
When travel nursing with a pet, the very first thing you should do is tell your recruiter that you plan to bring your furry friend with you on your contract – and the more advance notice the better. This will allow your recruiter ample time to research pet-friendly housing options for you. Housing resources are great travel nurse benefits, but most rentals will require a pet deposit. Some housing options may also have restrictions on pet size or breed, so be sure ask your recruiter for details.
Packing for your furry friend is crucial to ensure a smooth transition into travel life for your animal. Make sure you select a proper carrier for your pet: one that is spacious enough for wiggle room but compact enough to feel safe for them on long car rides or plane trips. Portable, collapsible water and food bowls are great to bring along while traveling. It is also important that your pet is equipped with an updated I.D. tag with their name and your phone number clearly visible on it. Travel nursing with a pet can be super rewarding, as long as both you and your animal are calm, cool, and collected. If your pet is prone to car anxiety, make sure to ask your vet about medications that can help so your pet can feel comfortable on the ride, and you can keep your eyes on the road.
Stick to a routine
It is no secret that all pets thrive on a steady routine. A lot can change when you begin a new travel assignment, and it is important to keep your pet’s needs in mind. Make sure you take time to help them adjust to your new schedule by keeping exercise, bathroom breaks, and meals consistent. For example, if your dog is used to a morning walk before work, but now you are working a night shift, wake up a few hours before you need to leave in the evening and make sure your dog gets their walk in then. As long as there is consistency with routine, your pet will adapt to your new schedule in no time.
Get to know your local vet
Before you begin travel nursing with a pet, get in touch with a veterinarian in your new town. Give them all the important information on your animal (age, breed, medical history) and let them know that you will be living in the area for the next few months. Establishing a vet in your new neighborhood is a great way to ensure that your pet will have access to proper care while away from home.
Make it feel like home
The best way to make your pet feel comfortable anywhere your travel nursing career takes you is to adorn their space with all the creature comforts of home. Dogs are very scent-oriented, so instead of going to the store to get a new bed, bring the old one that smells the most like “home” to them. This will immediately make them feel at ease. Keep in mind that going from place to place is sometimes tough for pets, so don’t forget to bring their favorite blankets, toys, and treats with you wherever you go.