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August 13

Plane, Train, or Automobile: Tips for traveling with your pet

August 13, 2015

From long summer vacations to last minute road trips, this season is usually packed with plenty of adventure! In this month’s installment of Pet Talk, we will cover some tips about traveling with your furry friend – whether by plane or car.

Safe & Sound

If traveling with your pet conjures up images of your dog riding shotgun, head hanging out of the window, tongue out and ears blowing in the wind, you might want to rethink that idea. One of the most important aspects of travel is making sure your pet is safely secured in a carrier or pet seatbelt. Both cats and dogs should travel in carriers that are secured with a seatbelt, or for some dogs a specialty safety harness based on their size; these are important features to avoid driver distraction, as well as preventing injury to your pet and the likelihood of escape should you get in an accident. It is important to give your pet plenty of rest stops for exercise, elimination, and water, as well as to make sure they are always secured with a collar, ID tag, and leash. Most importantly, never leave your pet alone in the car. 

Follow The Rules

Most types of transportation and travel destinations have guidelines when it comes to pets, so make sure to do your research beforehand. For example, if you plan on flying with your pet, you will most likely have to pre-arrange your travel with the airline, as they typically regulate how many and what size pets can travel in the cabin. You may also have to show a health certificate and proof of vaccinations, as well as needing to purchase a specific type of carrier, usually a certain size and the soft-sided type. Make sure to check with the airline for exact rules before booking a flight. Also, keep in mind that even if a hotel does allow pets, there might be fees involved, so find out before you leave to avoid frustration later!

dog-in-canoe2

Cool, Calm, and Relaxed

Another important aspect of travel to consider is your pet’s stress level and comfort, which may require calming medications. Many pets are only in a car when they ride to the vet, which doesn’t exactly promote calm and relaxed behavior. If your pet suffers from travel anxiety and carsickness, try these tips, or you may want to schedule an appointment with us so we can assess your pet’s needs for anxiety and motion sickness medications, which have become very common for traveling pets. Don’t use products like Benadryl, which actually sedates them while doing nothing to relieve their anxiety and can even increase stress in some pets. Additionally, on top of being current on all vaccinations and heartworm, flea & tick medications for any trip, if you are going to a heavily wooded area you may want to consider a Lyme disease vaccination.

Traveling with your pet should be an exciting adventure for everyone; just remember to do your research beforehand for the comfort of all concerned! If you will be traveling with your pet soon and have any questions, we would be happy to help make your planning a breeze; contact us at 701-757-3500!