Travel Tips for Your Pet

The weather is getting warmer, summer is fast approaching, and many people will have travel on their minds! In a few short weeks, it will be time for the cottage or a beach getaway. While this may be an exciting time for us, travelling can be stressful for our four-legged friends, which in turn can make it stressful for us!

What follows are some travel tips for you and your dog:

  1. Make sure your pet is healthy and up to date on vaccines. Bringing your pet to the vet for a checkup before travelling to make sure he is healthy enough for the trip. When travelling to the United States, any pet MUST be up to date on their rabies vaccine.
  2. If your pet is on medication, make sure you have enough to last the trip! If you’re running low, call in for a refill, so you’re not stuck scrambling to find a veterinarian where you are.
  3. Prepare your pet for the trip. You can start by taking your pet on several shorter drives to get them used to the car and travelling. Gradually lengthen these trips to help work them up to lengthy car drives. For pets that suffer anxiety when travelling, there is various sedative that can be prescribed and you can talk to your veterinarian about what would suit your pet.
  4. When travelling, keep your pet secure in a well ventilated hard-sided carrier. It should be large enough to allow them to stand, lie down and turn around. Secure the carrier so that it can’t shift or move even during a sudden stop. If a carrier is not an option, use a harness attached to a seat belt. Just like people, animals that aren’t secured are at risk of severe injury during an accident and can even pose a threat to human safety.
  5. Bring a travel kit along for your pet. On top of travel documents and medication mentioned above, it can include food, plenty of water and a water bowl, a leash, plastic bags. You can even bring along a favourite toy or blanket for your pet to give him something familiar.
  6. Remember to never, ever leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. Even with the windows cracked a car can overheat in no time in hot sunny weather.
  7. Make sure your pet has some identification on him. A simple collar/harness and tag can suffice, or better yet, a microchip! This way he can be identified if he accidentally gets lost.

These are a few travel tips to help you and your pet have a more comfortable and relaxed trip. Have fun out there this summer and safe travels!

Written by Dr. David Baker, DVM