You have found a great travel healthcare assignment. You’re packing up and excited to start. Along with all the other decisions you will need to make, if you are a pet owner, you will also have to decide if your pet will go with you. While you may view your pet as a member of your family, you may not be sure what is allowed or best for your furry friend.
Before you can weigh the pros and cons of bringing your pet, you have to be sure it is allowed where you will be living. Depending on your housing arrangements, pet polices may vary. If you are unsure, ask your recruiter. One important consideration is what type of pet you will be bringing with you. For instance, a house cat may be easier to travel with and lower maintenance than a large breed dog.
Often housing offered to healthcare travelers is an apartment. The size of your apartment may help you decide if it will be large enough for your pet to live comfortably. Additionally, you will need to consider if you will be assigned a roommate. Even if the apartment management allows pets if you will be sharing housing, rules may be different. You don’t want to show up and have a roommate who is allergic to cats or afraid of dogs.
One of the main advantages of bringing your pet is companionship. Even if you are looking forward to your travel assignment, you may be a bit lonely at first. Having your pet greet you when you walk through your door will make you feel more at home. Pets also help reduce stress and decrease depression.
Even though it may be great to have your pet with you on a travel assignment, you have to ask yourself if it is best for your animal. For example, if while you are working a 12-hour shift, your dog will be in a small apartment, it might not be the best thing for your pet. If on the other hand, you have a fenced backyard or can have someone walk your dog while you are at work, bringing your pet may work.
If you do decide to bring a pet with you, consider some of the following suggestions:
- Find a veterinarian in your new city. While you may not need a vet while on your travel assignment, it is good planning to have one just in case something comes up.
- Determine if there is a dog park near you. Visiting a local dog park is also a great way to meet people in your new city.
- Learn about licensing laws in your community. Depending on how long you will be working at your travel job, you may need to obtain a license for your pet.
- Bring your pet’s favorite food bowl, toys, and crate to your new place. Pets also need to adjust to new surroundings and items from home may help.
Have you ever brought a pet with you on a travel nursing assignment? Let us know how it went!