By: Alexandra Jeffers DVM,
Travelling with your pet can be both rewarding and fun. Here are a few tips to to make the trip go as planned.
1. Bring all the gear: a crate, food, water and any medications.
Crates are a good way to keep your pet safe in a car or in an unfamiliar home or hotel. Make sure it is well ventilated and labeled with your name, address and phone number. You pet's regular food and water are important to prevent stomach upset and stress diarrhea. Pets prone to this should have a probiotic added to their food on a daily basis to help. Check with your veterinarian before leaving to inquire about anti-diarrhea medication to have on hand, if needed. Apply flea/tick prevention prior to leaving and bring you pet's favorite toys and treats to keep your pet busy when you are occupied.
2. Proper Identification
Identification is important in case your pet gets lost. Your pet should wear a collar with an identification tag with your name, address and phone number on it. A microchip that your veterinarian can implant in your pet's neck is even better because it cannot come off. Additionally, HomeAgain microchip company will fax flyers to all shelters, veterinarians and rescue groups within a 50 mile radius of your location, as well as, your home location once the company is notified of a lost pet. Take a picture of your pet and keep a copy of this along with current vaccination history.
3. Health Certificate
If you are travelling by plane out of state or overseas, you will need a health certificate for your pet. Be advised that each state and country has different requirements for health certificates and you will need to check with that state's Office of Veterianarian Services or with the destination country's Embassy. Not all veterinarians complete health and international certificates, so check with your veterinarian well in advance of your travel plans.
4. Plane Travel
If you are travelling by plane, call the airline as each has it's own set of rules for pets. Some airlines do not transport animals in extreme temperatures and require specific crate sizes. Often cats and small dogs may travel in the cabin with their owner. Air Animal manages your pet's flight from your residence to any national or international destination.
5. Train and Bus Travel
If you are travelling by train or bus it is unlikely that you will be able to take your pet with you.
6. Hotel Stays
Check well in advance of your trip with hotels and motels to see if there are restrictions on bringing your pet. Be conscious of picking up pet waste and walking your dog only in designated areas. Keep your dog as quiet as possible and try not to leave your pet alone as they may destroy property in your absence. The AAA Pet Book has information on AAA rated hotels that allow pets.
Before leaving, find local veterinarians and emergency centers along your route in case of sickness or injury. Common problems at beach destinations include ingesting too much salt water or sand. Try to avoid this if possible.