Have Squeaky Toy, Will Travel

Taking your beloved Pet along with you on your next travel nursing assignment has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some things to consider when making the decision to road trip with Rex and his squeaky toy.

Benefits of Traveling with Pets

  • They’re the best fix for loneliness Traveling to a new, strange city can be lonely at times – especially in the first few weeks as you familiarize yourself with your new surroundings. There is nothing better than coming home after a long day (or night) at work and being excitedly greeted at the door by your furry buddy who adores you!
  • They keep you active Dogs need and want to go outside (unless it’s raining…then they look up at you when it’s time for their morning constitutional as if to say, “Uh…you’re joking right?” But aside from the inclement weather, having a dog gets you up and outside for some fresh air and exercise. Dogs are also great conversation starters with people you see when you’re out walking them.
  • They make great Netflix binge-watching companions Just feel like putting on your PJs and chilling out while catching up on your favorite Netflix series or show you’ve been recording but haven’t yet watched a single episode?
  • They make cheap, adorable therapists Mad? Sad? Need to vent? Lay on the couch and let it all out! Your pet doesn’t mind…they’ll just listen and love the fact that you’re hanging out with them. Plus…they won’t talk back!

Points to Ponder (because we don’t want to refer to anything related to our pets as “cons”)

  • Pet rent, deposits, and fees…oh my! With pets come fleas (maybe…hopefully not) and fees. While there are usually pet-friendly accommodations available for traveling nurses, you can expect to pay a pet deposit, as well as monthly pet fees. In addition, there are often size, breed, and weight restrictions. So, while Porky, your 100-lb. pot-bellied pig might your “big baby”, he probably won’t be an approved travel companion.
  • Need to fly? Prepare to pay Your pet can travel for free in your car but if you find yourself having to fly at some point during your assignment, it will cost you. Pets that can fly with you in the cabin will cost around $100, give or take $20 depending on the airline. Pets that must travel in the cargo hold area can cost closer to $250 (not including the cost of the post-traumatic stress therapy they’ll need afterward.)
  • Boarding/daycare Most dogs require being let outside at least once during the day to “do their business.” That becomes difficult when you work 12-hour shifts and have no family or friends nearby to help. Plus, part of the excitement of travel nursing is getting out and exploring the sights around your new city. Many big pet stores like PetsMart have boarding kennels and daycare programs available, as do some veterinarians. An Airbnb-like app connects pet owners with fellow pet-lovers nearby who will keep your pet at their house or come to yours and walk them/let them out.

Should you decide that there is no place that will feel like home without Toto, your adorable pooch, TaleMed recruiters can help you find pet-friendly accommodations that’ll keep tails wagging and your travel nursing dreams alive!

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