Keep Your Pet Healthy and Safe When Traveling

two cocker spaniels safely secured with seat belts in a car

With more and more pet-friendly options for travelers, you don’t have to leave your pet buddies at home. However, taking your four-leggers with you takes some planning and preparation. Prepare a personalized travel checklist. Always be sure you have a portable kennel with you just in case you need it. Here are some other things for you to consider:

Traveling by Car

For your pet’s safety, never leave it unattended in a car on a warm day. The interior of a car is much warmer than the outside air and it doesn’t take long for a pet to die from the heat. Other things to consider:

  • Is your pet comfortable when traveling?
  • Is your pet welcome to stay with friends along the way?
  • Is your pet allowed in hotels, motels, parks or campgrounds you are using?
  • Is your pet properly identified with a current tag and/or microchip?
  • HAVE PROOF OF RABIES VACCINATION – which means a current rabies certificate.
  • Have a current health certificate if you cross state or international borders.
  • Make sure you keep all small animals inside the travel carrier so when you open the car door they can’t jump out and escape.
  • Consider one of the harnesses for dogs that can be used with seat belts to help protect your dog during a sudden stop (picture above).
  • Carry a photo of your pet to help with identification in case your pet is lost.
  • Ask us about health concerns specific to where you are traveling. We will help to be sure you have the recommended preventive medications along, if available.
  • Take a first aid kit, favorite toys and blankets, bowls, and a leash. Carry plenty of water and your pet’s regular food.
  • Take a litter box and/or poop bags.
  • Take your pet’s medications and copies of written prescriptions. Taking along an antidiarrheal medication that is safe for pets is helpful.
  • Prepare a list of veterinary offices and emergency animal hospitals in the area to which you are traveling and keep it handy.

Traveling by Air

Some of the above points also apply to travel by air. In addition, do your research before booking a flight. Each airline has different rules when it comes to traveling with pets.

  • Most airlines require a health certificate.
  • Pets must be in airline-approved carriers.
  • Be familiar with Federal regulations for age requirements and weather condition restrictions.
  • Try to book a nonstop flight and avoid plane changes.

Keep An Eye on Your Pet

While you are traveling, perform a daily “health check” on your pet. In unfamiliar surroundings, your pet’s appetite, energy and disposition may change. Watch for unusual discharges from the nose and eyes, excessive scratching or biting of any body part, abnormal elimination, or excessive water consumption. Visit a local veterinarian if you are concerned about any physical or behavioral changes.

Safe pet-friendly travels!