Travel Nursing: How to Travel with Pets

Last Updated on April 19, 2024

Smiling travel nurse in blue scrubs embracing their pet: a black and white-spotted dog with brown collar.

Travel nursing is for adventurers! It’s for thrill-seekers, wanderers, and dreamers who want to explore the world and make a difference in it. But: how can you go on these adventures without your adventure buddy? 

Wondering about travel nursing with pets? Whether you’re thinking of becoming a travel nurse or bringing your fur friend along to your next job assignment, there are a few factors to consider and plans to make first!

Travel Nursing with Pets: Is it Possible? 

First things first: Yes! Depending on your assignment, travel nursing with pets is definitely possible. You just need to know how to prepare and what to expect.

We don’t want you to have to choose between travel nursing and your pet. But before you make the decision, it’s important to ensure it’s the best fit for both you and your companion.

Know Your Pet and Their Unique Needs

Every pet is unique in personality and temperament. How well do they handle change? Are they comfortable traveling? Do they need round-the-clock attention, or are they okay with some alone time?

You know your pet better than anyone else. By considering their needs, you can decide whether or not travel nursing with pets is the best choice. 

Consider the Length of the Travel Nursing Assignment

When working with a travel nursing recruiter, you can find assignments ranging anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months. The average contract is about 13 weeks. If your travel nursing contract is on the shorter side, it might be best to find a temporary pet sitter or trusty loved one to stay with them. If you’ll be gone for a while, you might consider taking them along for the ride!

>Travel Nursing Tip: Prepping for an assignment? Enjoy nursing career & lifestyle tips, healthcare industry news, and more in our Clinician Connections newsletter!

Talk to Your Vet About Travel Nursing with Pets

Still not sure if travel nursing with pets is the right move? Ask your vet! They can give you insight into how your pet will handle the move and what you can do to help them adjust, adapt, and adventure alongside you.

7 Tips for Travel Nursing with Pets

Dreaming of exploring the country with your adorable doggo or cuddly cat by your side?

A diagram from careerstaff illustrating tips for travel nursing with pets, including bringing paperwork, a pet carrier, pet food, toys, supplies, and knowing travel rules
A few examples of what to bring when traveling with pets.

With a bit of planning and preparation, it’s possible. Here are seven tips for travel nursing with pets: 

1. Get Your Pet’s Paperwork.

Travel nursing with pets can feel more like traveling internationally. Even if you’re moving one state away, your pet needs all their documentation and identification ready. This might include:

  • Vaccination records and certificates
  • Health certificates
  • Spay or neuter certificates
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet licensing
  • Veterinary inspection approval

It’s also recommended to get your pet microchipped. If they’re not, you’ll want to book an appointment to ensure you’re able to be contacted in case your pet gets lost.

Getting this paperwork can take a few months. Make an appointment now and right before you leave to get any records, prescriptions, and last-minute tips for helping your pet stay happy and healthy on the trip.

2. Prepare for Pet-Friendly Travel.

Road trip with your button-nosed bestie? That sounds like a dream! If you’re driving to your travel nursing assignment, make sure you have a carrier and any pet accessories easily accessible in the car. Keep a leash on-hand to take breaks and let them stretch their legs while on the road.

If you’re flying to your destination, remember to make arrangements with the airline. Make sure they have all the necessary information and documentation for that. Ensure you know the airline’s pet policies so you can follow them appropriately. 

Either way, make sure you assemble a pet travel kit to keep with you. This might include their paperwork, food, water, and other necessities. The better you plan, the less stressful it can be.

3. Bring a Piece of Home with You.

Everything will feel new for both you and your pet. Having each other’s company will make you feel more at home. Help your pet feel even safer and more secure in their new environment by packing a few of their favorite items from back home, such as their favorite toys, bed, and blanket. 

Travel Nursing Tip: Exploring pet-friendly temporary housing? Wherever you call home during your travel nursing assignment may also need access to your pet’s paperwork. Have your furry friend’s information handy to confirm their housing eligibility.

4. Create a Consistent Care Schedule Around Work

Consistency is key! Keeping a routine will help your pet adjust quickly. Know your work schedule so you can plan a consistent walking, feeding, and playtime routine for your pet. Establishing a routine can help you not worry about your pet while at work. In fact, once you settle into your routine, being a pet parent can help relieve stress as a nurse.

You may want to verify that your work schedule is compatible with your pet’s needs before making the decision to bring them with you.

5. Find Your Pet-Friendly Resources

Once you arrive at your new assignment, quickly find a vet in your area in case your pet ever needs it. You might look into other resources such as doggy daycare, dog parks, or pet sitters in the area. 

6. Adventure Together

Explore the area together! Take walks through the neighborhood, hike the local trails, and visit the town’s best pet-friendly spots. Take plenty of fun-filled pictures to share with your family and friends back home.

Travel nursing with pets gives you a built-in adventure buddy — use your free time to create new memories together. 

Find Pet-Friendly Travel Nursing Jobs Nationwide

Looking for your next career adventure with your furry friend? Check out our available travel nursing jobs nationwide! With 30+ years of experience in the healthcare industry, our recruitment specialists at CareerStaff are ready to connect you to the travel nursing assignment that fits your lifestyle, financial goals, and sense of adventure.

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