Travelling with pets

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It is that wonderful time of the year again. We are all slowing down and getting excited to go on holiday. For some of us it is an immensely difficult decision to decide travelling with our pets or leaving them behind.

This article will focus on travelling with your pet.

Air travel:
  • Book a direct flight.
  • Make an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian for a checkup
    • This is the time to make sure your pets vaccinations are all up to date.  Discuss your pets needs during the flight and  if needed request medication to ease anxiety. Never tranquilize a pet when travelling by airplane. This can make breathing more difficult and there will not be anybody to assist if your pet becomes compromised
  • Purchase a crate that your pet can comfortably stand up in and turn around in.
  • Let your pet get used to the crate. Leave it open for your pet to explore and sleep in. He needs to see this as a familiar place and not be threatened by it.
  • Make sure your pet’s crate has proper identificationMark the crate with the words “Live Animal,” as well as with your name, cell phone and destination phone number, and a photo of your pet. Should your pet escape from the carrier, this could be a lifesaver. You should also carry a photograph of your pet.
  • Do not obstruct the  ventilation of the crate with bulky items.
  • Leave your pet with one familiar item like a blanket, toy or piece of clothing that smells like you.
  • Do not feed your pet 4 hours prior to departure but make sure your pet is WELL hydrated.
Taking a Road Trip

Traveling with a pet by car involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off. Please read these key tips to ensure that you and your pet have a stress free ride:

  • Prep your pet for a long trip. Let your pet get accustomed to the car by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car
  • Do research on your accommodation to make sure that it is pet friendly.
  • Before you leave make sure you pay a visit to the vet. Your pets will be in a new environment, so you want to make sure their vaccinations are up to date. You should also stock up on any special food or medication your pet might need while you’re away.
    Make sure you take a copy of your pet’s medical records with you when you travel.
  • Plan your trip. It is important for you and your pet to have regular stops, we recommend every 2 hours.  Plan to spend about 15 to 20 minutes at each stop. It can be dangerous to allow cats out of the car – even on a harness. Rather provide your cat with a litter box and food or water in the car.
  • Prep a pet-friendly travel kitBring food, a bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid, and any travel documents. Pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity. Bring along a big container of water and bowls. It is safer to give your pet clean water from your own container to prevent the spread of disease. Avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle. Your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure.
  • Make sure your pets are microchipped and have a collar on with an ID tag
  • Never leave your animal alone in a car. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked car can cause heat stroke to develop rapidly. In cold weather the car can hold in the cold and cause the animal to freeze to death.
When arriving at your destination:
  • Have the contact information for nearby vet clinics saved to your phone and know where the closest emergency vet clinics are for any after-hour emergency situations.
  • When you reach your destination, keep your cat indoors and make sure that he cannot get out of the house accidentally.
  • Keep your dog on lead until you are safely inside, in case he runs off.
  • It’s important that you stick to your regular routine (like feeding times, exercise and medicine doses) while you’re away.

Enjoy a pet friendly holiday.