Moving to a new location every few months for a travel nurse assignment can be exciting, but the thought of missing your four-legged friend may seem unbearable. Not to worry, travel nursing with a pet isn’t impossible. A cat or dog can provide companionship and the comforts of home after your shift and on your off days. There are certain things to consider to make sure you and Fluffy are happy and healthy. Housing, working late, and traveling are all a little more complicated for a travel nurse and their beloved pet.
You must be up front with your recruiter to ensure you find the right housing that allows pets. Be prepared to pay an additional (likely nonrefundable) pet deposit and pet rent. Unfortunately, you might find that your housing options are limited in some destinations. If you’re flexible on your assignment location, you will likely have better luck finding housing that permits animals.
12-hour shifts are not particularly dog-friendly. Doggy daycares and dog-walking services are booming, though, so you should have no trouble finding ways to entertain Fido while you work. If you’re working the night shift, dog boarding facilities are helpful to make sure your pup is well-cared-for while you’re caring for your patients. If your dog prefers to be the only pooch in the room, there are websites that match you with screened dog walkers who can let themselves into your apartment, walk your dog, and return them home, all while you’re at work.
Although cats are generally lower maintenance than dogs, they’re not always great travelers. It might be necessary give your cat a relaxer during long car rides between nursing assignments. Speak with your veterinarian to determine the best medication to ensure your cat is kept comfortable and calm during travel.
Delivery services such as Amazon, Chewy.com, and popular pet store websites can help you keep dog food, cat litter, treats, and toys in stock without running to the store after your third 12-hour shift. Keep an eye out for coupon codes and discounts for monthly shipping. Ordering food online will ensure that you will be able to provide the same food to your pet despite local stores having varied brands in stock.
Travel nursing with pets requires preparation and planning, but rewards you with tail wags and purrs when you return home for your shift. Animal companionship can make experiencing new places even more enjoyable. It might take a little more time and investment, but the sacrifices are worth it to keep your best friend with you wherever your travel nursing career takes you.
To learn more about housing and other popular traveler topics, visit the all-new Travel Nurse Academy from THS.