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Travel nursing is already a no-frills career, living out of a suitcase rather than a closet. For weeks or months at a time, you say goodbye to your friends, family, and your home,traveling across the US and exploring different states and cities on your nursing career path. Still, with the roughly 23% salary increase, following this path alone is as rewarding as it is difficult.
Nevertheless, adding a pet into the mix can complicate the matter, but it doesn’t have to—plenty of travel nurses have pets when staying in furnished homes for business. Thus, below, myths will be dispelled, riddles will be solved, and ultimately you’ll see how you can sustain the job you want and be accompanied by the furry friend you choose.
To break down the problem logically, the question of whether to leave your dog or cat (or lizard or parakeet or python) behind must be answered. Here are some factors to consider:
Unless you have the perfect neighbor who already has 3 cats and doesn’t mind housing your cat while you’re gone (or maybe just wouldn’t notice the extra cat), it seems like there’s only one option:
You and your beloved pet are going to Florida together!
…Or wherever you’re assigned. North Platte is also nice. I hear Boulder has great hiking.
Okay, so you’ve made up your mind—it’s the logical choice, really—that Fido is tagging along. Great. There’s nothing that can go wrong here, right?
Here are the most common problems travel nurses experience when they have pets. Worry not, below will be solutions to these problems. This wouldn’t exactly be a “guide” if there weren’t.
Perhaps you work with travel nursing agencies that are pet-friendly and know how to provide you with great pet care while you’re working. More often is the case, you’re relying on yourself to find a place to live for anywhere between 8-24 weeks that’s safe, comfortable, and pet-friendly.
That means you’re looking for a place that 1) doesn’t require a long-term lease, 2) is affordable, 3) comes furnished, 4) has been inspected, and of course, 5) accommodates pets. If this sounds like an unreal proposition, it’s not—this is the idea behind corporate housing. When companies want to provide the amenities of a home while clients or employees are working remotely, they will offer a furnished apartment instead of an extended hotel stay.
Zeus Living is providing this level of convenience to travel nurses as well.
The process is simple:
In addition to how easy the booking process is, the amenities are exactly what you could wish for:
With Zeus, you’re not just moving into a nicely furnished place to live—you’re getting the peace of mind that comes from a pre-inspected, quality-guaranteed home. That’s the Zeus promise.
As a travel nurse—much like any nurse—you’re probably on the 4-10 or 3-12 schedule, meaning you work 4 days a week with 10-hour shifts or 3 days a week with 12-hour shifts. Either of these makes it hard to care for your pet during a select few days of the week. If you own a cat, you might not be worried; cats are fairly self-sustaining throughout the day. If you have a needy dog, however, you need to consider doggie daycare.
Here are some common options for taking care of your pet during the days you’re on:
You know your pet best, so you can choose the option that’s right for your companion.
Another aspect of travel nursing with a dog is… well, the traveling aspect. Traveling with pets on flights is becoming more common nowadays, especially with smaller dogs. For this, you’ll need:
If you’re travel nursing with a large dog, most airlines will want to fly your dog with the cargo because checked bags will often have a weight limit (around 20 lbs). As such, you’ll want to place an emphasis on the sleep aid; there’s no reason that your dog needs to go through the frightening experience of being shipped from one container to the next while they’re wide awake. Talk to your local vet about how best to go about traveling with your dog.
Travel nursing with a family means being prepared to take on an emergency at work and at home, and the same applies to pets. Because traveling can become hectic and stressful, you’ll want to make sure you’re fully prepared for everything that can happen with your pet before you move. This includes:
It’s normal to want to bring your pet along with you on your journey. This career comes with many highs and lows—often experienced alone as a result of all the traveling. For that reason, having your dog or pet with you can be incredibly cathartic. Although, like life, with the good comes the bad. Mitigate the risks and potential headaches by thoughtfully preparing for each of the above categories. That way, should any disaster strike, you’ll be ready.
Start off by finding a place that you can both call home. With Zeus Living, it’s as simple as looking through modern, tastefully designed homes, and picking the one that suits you and your pet.
Travelnursing.org. Travel Nursing Salary, Pay Range, & Compensation Rates. https://www.travelnursing.org/salary-and-benefits/
CDC. About Pets & People. https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html
Canine Weekly. Flying with Large Dogs: Everything You Need to Know. https://canineweekly.com/flying-with-large-dogs/
CNTraveler. Flying With a Dog: Everything You Need to Know. https://www.cntraveler.com/story/flying-with-a-dog-everything-you-need-to-know