If the one thing that is stopping you from travel nursing is the thought that you can’t bring your pet with you, you may be pleasantly surprised at the reality of the situation. Travel nursing is all about adventure and it can be tough to be without companionship, at least when you initially get to your destination and are still waiting to meet your acquaintances. Your pet is your family, your best friend, the one you can lean on and can aid in any nervousness you may have on this new path. Therefore, it is absolutely possible to bring your pets with you. Knowing what the process is and the things you’ll need to know to make it manageable will be your greatest strength in making it work. Once you have it down, there’s no stopping where you can go.
First things first…
When you speak to your recruiter, mention immediately upfront that you are interested in bringing your pet along with you. This can allow you to set your eyes on pet-friendly assignments, locations and accommodations. Don’t be afraid of this process; it is extremely normal! Once this first part is complete, you can start looking at what you need to do pre-trip.
Have The Paperwork
Just like yourself needing all of your paperwork in order, your pet’s paperwork needs to be in order too. This mainly refers to updating and bringing vaccination records, prescriptions and veterinarian instructions with you. A rabies tag may be necessary or generally a good idea and think about how your pet travels. Will you need any nervousness or motion sickness medication to make the trip a little easier? On top of this, if you haven’t thought about it yet, a microchip for your pet may be a fantastic option for your travels. Especially being a new place that your pet isn’t familiar with. If not, having a collar tag with their name, your name and phone number is important.
Where Is The Closest Veterinarian?
Once a destination is on the table, start to look into the local vets in the area. You can always ask your home vet first if they have any recommendations. If that doesn’t work, move on to Google and see where your best options are. Just in case.
This also falls into any specialty food, treats or products your pet may need. Is there a local store that sells what you need? You may even sidestep the local stores and look into buying what you need online!
Though you have already mentioned to your recruiter that you will be bringing your pet along with you, make sure to double-check that you have pet-friendly housing. Pet-friendly housing essentially means that the owner is welcome to you having pets there. Though this doesn’t necessarily mean you will land in a place with a huge backyard or dog park close by. Along with this housing, you can bring or buy pieces like a slipcover or throw to stop your pets from damaging the furniture.
And don’t worry, housing doesn’t necessarily get that much harder for you in these situations. Many owners are okay with pets. More specifically cats and small to medium dogs. If you have a big dog, get to researching ASAP as owners are often afraid of the bigger breeds in small areas.
Plan Out Your Trip
Are you heading to your destination by flight or car? Will you need some places to stop along the way? Potentially a pet-friendly hotel? Organizing your trip completely and having the right places to go will make the situation so much smoother. It doesn’t mean you have to perfectly time everything. But as long as you have places to eat and sleep while travelling, then you’ll be breezing through the process.
Just remember, your pet’s bathroom schedule may change due to the stress of moving. While we know you want to make the trip as stress-free as you can, it is inevitable. Just bring along some cleaning supplies if you need and you’ll be good to go.
Once You Get To Your Destination
For most people, arriving a couple of days earlier was very helpful in getting themselves and their pets acquainted with the area. You can walk around the neighborhood, visit dog parks or dog-friendly cafes and even get your dog used to you leaving and coming home. Having them as comfortable as they can be in their new surrounding will bring you peace of mind in their safety and happiness.
Doggy Day Care or Pet Sitter?
Long shifts are inevitable in your line of work. Pets can often not do so well in these scenarios. If you wanted to, you could find yourself a cool doggy daycare or someone who can come in and pet sit for some hours. There will most definitely be places available in your area and there are plenty of websites online where you can find someone trustworthy.
Pamper Your Pet
This move will not only be a big change for you but a big change for your pet. As a dog is great for emotional support, make sure you are supporting them too. Even if it’s a quick walk, a quick play or specifically finding places to go that your pet can join you.
Last but not least
The ending result is that once you are finished with your assignment, you should really take the time to think about going home. Think about it as a restart for yourself and your pet. Show them back to their comfortable and familiar surrounding and help them in knowing that home is always the beginning and ending point of both of your nice little adventures.
Is it tricky? Sure it is. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Pets bring so much to every experience and it is very understandable why some wouldn’t even think about leaving them behind and you don’t have to. Bring them with you! As long as you are organized and have a good plan in place, the process will be a little less stressful for you and your furry friend.