What to Know About Traveling With Pets

A dog belted into the back seat

It is an amazing feeling when it comes time to hit the road and explore the world. Perhaps the only thing that could make that sensation better would be to share it with a good friend. Whether that friend has four or two legs, Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital won’t judge. 

If you do choose to have a pet accompany you on your travels, though, there is some preparation involved. Much like children, traveling with pets involves some planning and forethought to ensure an ultimate experience. 

All Things Considered

Before packing up the old Winnebago with dog food and cat litter, it is important to really consider if bringing your pet along is ideal. While traveling with pets may sound appealing to us, it isn’t always in our animal’s best interest.

Pets who may not do well with travel or sustain greater risks include:

  • Young puppies or kittens who have not completed their vaccine series
  • Patients with arthritis or mobility concerns
  • Immunosuppressed animals (such as those undergoing treatment for cancer)
  • Pets with major health issues
  • Those who suffer from motion sickness
  • Pets who tend to have anxiety associated with changes in routine or new things

If you are not sure whether bringing your pet along is a good idea or not, contact us. One of our fabulous Barton Heights staff members can help you to evaluate your situation. 

Tips for Traveling with Pets

If you do decide that traveling with pets is for your family, your work has just begun! The biggest factor in pet travel success is preparation. Thinking ahead will keep your trip safe and enjoyable. 

Be sure to:

  • Pack enough food, water, treats, and medications for your pet to get you through your trip (and maybe a few extra days just in case)
  • Fill any medications your pet may need for things like car sickness or travel anxiety well ahead of your departure
  • Bring along copies of your pet’s medical records and vaccination history just in case
  • Scout out quality veterinary hospitals and 24-hour facilities along your travel route and at your destination in case your pet needs medical attention
  • Get your pet used to riding in a carrier well ahead of time, especially if they will be crated on an airplane
  • Be sure that your pet has proper documentation, including a health certificate within 10 days of travel for interstate travel (depending on the country, international travel may need a wide variety of documentation that may need to be started months ahead of time)
  • Check to ensure that your pet is microchipped and that the contact information is up-to-date and correct
  • Invest in a well-fitting harness and/or collar to keep you pet secure (a nice non-retractable leash is advisable as well)
  • Secure your pet in your vehicle using a pet seat belt or carrier
  • Check that your pet is up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations and parasite preventions
  • Consider putting together a small pet first-aid kit

Traveling with pets can be a fun and memorable experience. Taking the time to anticipate any trouble you might encounter and to prepare yourself and your pet for your trip can help to ensure the best time possible. Barton Heights is happy to help you accomplish this in any way possible.