Planning a summer road trip or moving to a new home with your pet this summer? While these new adventures can be a mixture of anxiety and excitement for us humans, they can prove to be plain stressful for our pets. Keep a few of these helpful tips in mind when you’re preparing your pet for travel of any kind.
One of the most vital prep steps is to make sure your pet is properly identified. Ensure that they are wearing a collar and tag with their name and your contact information at all times. Microchipping is also a great way to ensure your pet’s safe return should they go missing and lose their collar.
While leashes are a staple you should always remember to use when going anywhere with your pet, proper restraints are crucial when traveling, too. Whether by air or ground, make sure your pet is properly fastened with a pet seatbelt or harness, or secured in an appropriately sized crate or carrier to make certain they will be protected while traveling.
Try to make any travel or relocation as comfortable as possible for your pet. If you’re gearing up for a lengthy road trip, slowly acclimate your pet by taking a series of short drives in the car and gradually extend the time spent in the car with each trip. When moving to a new home or apartment, it’s a good idea to bring moving boxes in early. This will allow skittish animals – and especially cats, who do not like change – to warm up to the transition.
Additionally, give your pet plenty of chances to hydrate, eat, and eliminate to keep them comfortable on the trip. Make frequent stops and let your dog out for short walks to exercise and relieve himself, and make sure to bring along a small litter box for cats, too.
Taking to the sky with your pet? Set up an appointment with your vet to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date, and get a health certificate should you need it. It’s also important to communicate with the airline you’re traveling on, to be sure you can meet all their requirements.
When staying on the ground for travel, let your pet take several breaks if you’ll be on the road for a long trip. A pet-friendly travel kit, complete with bottled water, food, leash, waste bags, and any necessary medications, is essential to bring along. It is vital that you never leave your pet in a parked vehicle to avoid heatstroke in summer or freezing in winter.
For any traveling method, it’s also an excellent idea to bring something sturdy, such as a tube or other container, that holds a photo of your pet, any pertinent medical information, your itinerary, and car license plate and description. This will be a lifesaver if your pet goes missing in the event of an accident or if they escape.
For more information on traveling by plane or car, and rules and regulations for interstate and international travel, these resources from AVMA and ASPCA are great tools.
Make sure your beloved pet is all set before taking to the open road or jet-setting trip by scheduling their wellness appointment with us today. For more tips, advice, or answers to your traveling questions, please give us a call at 701.757.3500.