Traveling with your Pet

Make sure your next family vacation is a safe one for Fido!

Summer brings sunny days, warm air, and those infamous family vacations. Many people bring their pets along for the fun times. Here are a few tips when you travel with your pet:

-        If traveling out of the country, unless you are going to Canada, it is best NOT to take your pet with you. Each country has its own regulations for the importation of animals, even for just a short vacation. A health certificate issued by a veterinarian and sometimes a federal veterinarian’s seal will be needed  Some countries require mandatory quarantine and special blood testing and parasite treatments before travel. It just is not worth the stress on you and your pet!

-        Traveling by air is always a risk unless you can fit your pet under the seat in front of you in the main cabin. Airlines will not fly pets if the outside temperature is too cold or too warm if they are traveling cargo or baggage. If you must fly your pet, make sure you are on a direct flight and make sure you have followed the airlines instructions for the required paperwork.

-        When traveling by car, ask your veterinarian for car sickness medication. Cerenia is a newer drug that is approved for car sickness and works very well without causing sedation.

-        Have your paperwork in order! Have copies of your pet’s vaccination record and a list of any medications your pet is taking.  Bring along food, water, bowls, snacks , bedding and and toys. Have emergency vet clinic phone numbers ready for the area you are visiting.

-        The scariest part of traveling with your pet is if your pet gets lost!!   Make sure your pet is microchipped and the information listed for the chip is current and contains your cell phone number.  Microchips do not work unless the chip can be traced back to you!  Have a picture of your pet on your cell phone to share  in case your pet is lost. Make sure your dog’s tags also contain your cell phone number.  You can’t answer your home  phone if you are not home!

-        Make sure the hotels you will be visiting accept pets. Always bring a carrier or a cage in case you need to leave your pet alone in the hotel. Dogs who would normally not destroy your home maybe especially anxious in a hotel room and they can do a lot of damage in a short time!

-        Safety first in the car! Have your pet strapped into a pet seat belt harness, or place them in a carrier and use the seat belt to secure that level in the back seat. We have treated many pets that have been severely injured  and even lost in car crashes.

-        Prepare for frequent pit stops! Avoid the rest stop pet areas- many thousands of pets have used this area to eliminate, and the chance of  disease and parasites is higher there. Get off the highway and pick  a spot in town to  take your pet for a quick walk – make sure to pick up after them!

-         And ALWAYS keep your pet on a leash when traveling- even if they are normally well behaved at home.  The best way to ruin your vacation is to lose your pet!!



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