At this time of year, many of our patients travel with their families. Most dogs, and even some cats, enjoy exploring new territory. But to make traveling with pets more convenient for you, and safer for the animals, we recommend that you follow these protocol.
Check on rules and regulations. Check to be certain that your pet will be allowed to stay in your hotel, and ask airlines about their procedures. If you’re staying with a friend or family member, it’s courteous to inquire about your pet’s presence ahead of time. If you’re traveling to a different state, be aware that some enforce their own requirements regarding potential quarantines, vaccinations, and more.
Identify your pet. Not only should Fido be wearing a tag with your contact information; it’s better if he’s microchipped as well.
Make a list, and check it twice. Several days before you hit the road or board the plane, make a list of everything your pet will need. This way, you have time to add things that might occur to you later. A leash, food, medications, collars, and tags should be at the top of the list. Also consider how you will deal with bathroom breaks and any “accidents”. Keeping a few plastic bags and some paper towels handy is always a good idea.
Use a crate. If you’re traveling by car, loose pets in the vehicle are simply not a good idea. Even if Fluffy is the best-behaved, happiest car rider in the world, she needs to be protected in the event of an accident. Unrestrained pets can be thrown from the vehicle or injured by items tumbling inside the car.
Plan frequent stops. Dogs need frequent walks in order to relieve themselves. Cats, likewise, need a chance to stretch their legs (inside the vehicle, while stopped) and use the litter box.
Remember water. Keep your pet’s water dish and a bottle of water on hand, so that you can offer water at regular intervals.
Consult with us first. We can perform a check-up to be sure your pet is in good shape to travel. You might need a copy of your pet’s vaccination record, especially if you’re traveling out of state. And, if your dog or cat suffers from motion sickness, we can possibly prescribe something to help with that.
If your pet has a chronic medical condition, ask us for travel tips. There might be a few things you should monitor, to prevent problems while you travel. And of course, remember to pack his medication.