10 Tips for Successful Travel Nursing with Pets

Your Guide to Traveling with Pets as a Healthcare Professional

Travel nurses are often the frontline of care workers in healthcare facilities. You may be on call 24/7 and provide round-the-clock care to the patients in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and patient homes. The travel nursing profession can be difficult to balance with demanding work schedules, long shifts, and frequent relocations.

Traveling with your pets can bring you joy when you are feeling a little stressed or lonely. The companionship they provide can be unmatched by anything else in life – even other people! When you travel with your pet, you get more than just memories of your trip; you get your pet’s memories as well.

Should you travel with your pet to your next assignment? In this article, we look at the pitfalls and benefits of travel nursing with pets.

Benefits and Pitfalls of Travel Nursing with Pets

Travel nursing with pets has a lot of benefits. These include:

  • You can take your best friend with you and not worry about the care they are receiving while you are away
  • You won’t have to worry about the cost of putting your dog into a kennel or cat into a cattery – or asking relatives or friends to look after them while you’re away
  • Your pet won’t ‘disown’ you upon your return as a kind of revenge for you leaving them
  • Your pet can provide emotional support and help relieve stress during long shifts
  • A pet also provides that all important link to home

When you’re on the road, your furry friend will help make those lonely hours more bearable and will provide you with some companionship. They’ll also provide a great distraction from all those long days and long nights spent in hospitals and other healthcare facilities that are typically not pet-friendly.

The flip side of the coin is that travel nursing with pets also presents many disadvantages. For example:

  • You may not be able to take up the offer of accommodation made by your employer, because they don’t allow pets
  • Your pet will be in a strange location, and you’ll spend many hours at work – this can be stressful for your pet
  • If you need medical attention for your pet, it can be difficult to find a good vet – you won’t benefit from the local knowledge you have of home
  • A pet needs a lot of care and attention, food, water, and exercise, and pets like regularity, which is something you may not be able to offer, depending on the expected work hours under your assignment

10 Tips for Successful Travel Nursing with a Pet

Being constantly on the move can be stressful for your pet. Long journeys are hard enough on you, they can be even more difficult for pets to make. These tips will help you to keep pet stress to a minimum, and ensure your travel nursing adventures with your pet build the happiest memories.

1.     Get Your Pet Chipped

Cats and dogs do wander. It’s easy for them to become lost in unfamiliar surroundings, or while you are traveling. The pain of that loss will crush you. Get your pet chipped and increase the chance that you will be reunited should they become lost.

2.     Get Your Pet Checked

Have your pet’s health checked before you travel to your assignment. Make sure they are fit to travel, and that all their jabs are up to date. Also, make sure that you have a copy of your pet’s health record to take with you just in case you need a vet.

3.     Ensure You Have Pet-Friendly Accommodation

It may be a no-brainer, but this is something that is easily overlooked. Don’t assume that accommodation offered to you is pet friendly. Always ask.

Don’t forget the need for accommodation during your journey, too. Plan your route carefully and check that hotels you wish to stay in along the way are pet friendly.

4.     Check Out Local Vets

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Check out vets where your next assignment is. Ask for recommendations, and read those customer testimonials. Make a list of possible facilities, and speak to them ahead of time.

5.     Cater for Your Pet

You know that you will get thirsty and hungry on a long journey. So will your pet. Take plenty of food and water for your best friend, too. And don’t forget to have any medication with you. Oh, and cleaning materials for any little accidents that may happen. Better to be safe than sorry.

6.     Keep Your Pet Calm and Safe

Will you be driving to your next assignment? Keep your pet calm by being calm yourself, and keep them safe by keeping them in a carrier.

7.     Take Regular Breaks

Journeys are tiring for drivers and their pets. You need rest while driving, and so does your pet. Let them out to stretch their legs – keep them on a leash, so they don’t run off.

8.     Acclimatize

Give yourself and your pet time to acclimatize to your new environment by arriving a few days before your assignment begins. This is good for you and your pet. You both get to know the ‘lay of the land’ of your new neighborhood.

9.     Get a Pet-Sitter

If you have long shifts, it’s a good idea to get a pet-sitter or find pet daycare services. Your pet will be less stressed, and so will you when you know that they are in good hands with company while you are at work.

10.  Pet Your Pet

You’ve had a hard shift. It’s been non-stop. All you want to do now is put your feet up and relax. You can, but not before you have spent some time with your pet. They’ve missed you. Pet them. Take your dog out for a walk. Play with your cat. Give them a little pampering – it’s therapeutic for you, too.

Find the Best Assignments as a Pet-Owning Travel Nurse

Travel nursing provides an opportunity to help patients from all walks of life, doing what you do best and love most, where you are needed most. However, your life of travel can put extra stress on your pet. Following these tips will help you eliminate any stress and ensure that you and your pet have successful assignments.

Finding the best company to work for as a pet-owning travel nurse can be difficult. Which is why Loyal Source will prove to be your best partner. We help travel nurses to find the best opportunities, including nurses who wish to travel with their pets.

One final bonus tip for you: make time to return home for a few days at the end of each assignment. Like people, pets get homesick. A visit to familiar surroundings is a great tonic, and will help make those bonds between you and your pet even tighter.

To find your next assignment with your pet by your side, contact Loyal Source today.

Posted in