Travel Nursing With Pets: What You Need to Know

Travel nursing cat in a suitcase.

Life as a Travel Nurse is exhilarating. Relocating to an unfamiliar city, immersing yourself in the culture of the new town, and working in a new hospital for up to 13 weeks can be overwhelming. And if you’re traveling by yourself, coming home to an empty apartment can get lonely.

Travel nursing with pets can be an amazing way to find companionship and dispel that loneliness. Unfortunately, the life of a Nurse – even one who doesn’t travel – is not always pet friendly.

With the advent of doggy day care and dog-walking services, it’s never been easier for busy professionals to provide enrichment to their furry friends while they’re at work.

Below you’ll find tips to keep your pets happy and healthy while traveling.

Know where you can (and can’t) live with a pet

If you’re travel nursing with pets, you’ll need to make sure you find a place where your pet is allowed to live. Some apartments don’t allow pets, so tell your Recruiter ahead of time about your traveling partner.

Make sure that if a landlord does allow pets, they allow your specific type or breed. Some cities and landlords have fairly strict size and breed restrictions.

Breeds you should be careful about are: pit bull terriers, German shepherds, chow chows, akitas and Staffordshire terriers.

It’s important to note that rental companies may have more breed restrictions than the city, so check both.

Your pet might make it more difficult (and likely more expensive) to find a place to live, but there are pet-friendly options available.

Can you be a travel nurse with pets? Not in all places.

Think about how your pet will deal with travel



It’s hard to say which pets are the best fit for travel nursing companionship. The Travel Nurse lifestyle can be challenging for dogs. They may not enjoy being apart from you for 12+ hours per day, and they may let you know about it by ruining furniture, door frames and shoes. In that case, say goodbye to your deposit.

As for traveling across the country, the American Kennel Club has some tips for keeping your dog safe on trips.


Cats, on the other hand, might be happy to have you out of the way for 12 hours a day! While cats don’t need the same kind of attention as dogs, it’s still not wise to leave them at home alone for long periods of time.

Cats have a reputation of being very sensitive to travel. But if you give your cat a chance to gradually get used to road trips, he or she can become a good travel companion.

If you’re traveling with a cat, check out these tips for happier trips from The Spruce.

Other pets

Dogs and cats are the primary choices for keeping travelers company, but there are many pets that might be a good choice for people who will be gone for half a day. Geckos, hermit crabs, fish and birds are just a few pets that won’t require a ton of attention.

You’re a dog lover? You can still travel

Thankfully, there are myriad options for keeping canines content while you’re caring for your patients and away from home.

Doggy day cares are showing up all over the country. For $20-30/day, your pup can play with friends and burn energy, all while being loved on and cared for by the day care staff. Some doggy day cares even have party days where they give your pal treats, dress them up for fun pictures, and play with bubbles or other special enrichments.

Google is your friend to find day care locations ahead of time. Be sure to bring your puppy’s shot records and flea and tick medicine, because they’ll need to keep that info on file.

If your dog prefers to be an only child, there are several websites that will match you with someone to come let your pup out to potty and take him or her for walks.

Know where to go for supplies and care

One of the most difficult parts of travel nursing with pets is getting supplies, especially when you’re working a Nurse’s schedule.

Google is a sure bet for finding a major pet store nearby. However, if you don’t want to make the extra trip, there are services that will deliver food right to your doorCheck out Canine Review’s recent comparison of these services.

When you end up in a new city, it’s always a good idea to take a look at vets in the area before you need one. Again – Google is your friend here. Check out reviews to see what others have to say about the vets near you.

Let us know how travel nursing with pets has worked for you.

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