One question that comes up quite frequently among pet owners who are traveling internationally is that of what to do with their pets. In this instance, we are considering people who are traveling for trips that will last a year or less, not longer-term overseas assignments. Quite often, the image of taking in a foreign vista with your furry friend at your side is too marvelous to miss. Additionally, the question of how a pet would react to your absence if you were to leave it behind frequently burdens the minds of many a pet owner. When considered from a purely subjective mindset, pet owners are likely to have a greater concern for their pets’ attitudinal shifts when placed in situations forcing a separation from their accepted routine, citing such concerns as genuine bearing for the welfare of their “loved one”.
Encased in this mentality, it’s difficult for many people to take into consideration the effects the alternative will have on their pet – after all, it’s easy to assume that you are your pet’s total life, and that “your pet can’t live without you”, so wherever you go, your pet should follow in order to be safe and happy, right? Wrong. Objectively speaking, this attitude is exceptionally arrogant and often proves inadvertently duplicitous. The stress placed on pets during international travel is generally greater than that of their human counterparts.
At least the pet owner is aware of what is happening and what the change of environment is all about. As far as your pet knows, the comfortable life it has known and loved is shattering before its eyes – it doesn’t know the purpose of this, or that life will go back to normal soon, regardless of how sunshiny you try to make the situation.
While a good number of pet owners refuse to believe it, their pets will be absolutely fine without them in their lives for a little while. They might cry and be confused, but they aren’t going to lay down and die – they are survivors and driven by instinct simply to live. When it comes down to it, pet owners often bring their pets with them on international trips more for their own mental stability than for any “benefit” that might befall their pet. So before you engage in international pet travel please take a moment and think, as a responsible pet owner, what is best for your pet – not yourself.