Tips for Traveling Safely with your Pet

pet travel

Traveling with your pet can be highly stressful for some pets but exciting for others, especially when traveling during a pandemic. Make sure you know your pet will enjoy themselves before investing and adding them to your travel plans. Your best bet is to test it out before investing! Take a mini car trip to a dog-friendly area and watch your pet closely. Is your dog’s tail wagging or tucked under showing signs of fear? Other signs of fear and stress are drooling, hiding, ears pinned back, and upset stomach, to name a few.

Remember, no matter where you are headed or how you plan on traveling, make sure your pet has proper identification like a collar with an identification tag and/or a microchip. Your pet’s identification tag on their collar should include their name, your phone number, and any other relevant contact information. A microchip is a small chip the size of a grain of rice that is implanted by a veterinary professional under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades.

Safe Travel

If your pet loves traveling as much as we do, here are a few helpful tips from the ASPCA to help keep everyone safe and happy during your travels.

Traveling by plane?

  • If your pet isn’t small enough to fit under your seat it may not be worth taking the risks and flying them cargo.
  • Book a direct flight whenever possible. This avoids from your pet having to stay on the tarmac or baggage area for prolonged amounts of time.
  • Make an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian for a checkup before your trip. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date and obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian within 10 days of travel. Check the vaccine requirements to the areas you are flying and make sure to get all the required testing and vaccines. Talk to your veterinarian about ways to keep your pet comfortable and anxious-free during the flight.
  • Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate and label it with the proper identification. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, and turn around in comfortably and lined with some type of bedding. Tape a small bag of your pet’s food to the outside of the kennel for the airline personnel to give during a layover or if your pet gets hungry.  The night before you leave, in a small dish, freeze some water for your pet.  This way, it can’t spill during loading and will melt by the time he or she is thirsty.

Taking a Road Trip?

  • Prep your pet for a long trip. Test it out before by going on short trips and slowly increase the duration of the trips to make sure your pet finds being in a car for long hours enjoyable.
  • Keep your pet safe and secure in a crate. Your pet should be able to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in the crate. Secure the crate in your car to keep everyone safe in the event of an abrupt stop.
  • Prep a pet-friendly travel kit. Visit our blog on Pet Preparedness and tips on putting together a travel/ emergency kit.
  • Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. Even a car with the windows down can become a furnace in no time and causing heatstroke. In the winter, a cold car can become a refrigerator.
Contact us at Lakeside Animal Hospital with questions or for more information on traveling with your pet.

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