Nothing says summer like a family vacation, and bringing the family pet along can add a special element of fun and adventure. There is a lot to consider before you travel with your pet, though, and Long Animal Hospital can help. Our guide to pet travel aims to help you prepare for any challenges you may face and ensure smooth sailing for you and your best pal.
Preparing for Pet Travel
Before you pack your pet’s suitcase, ask yourself if bringing your pet on vacation is the right thing to do. Your pet’s temperament should be suitable for the chaos and unpredictability of travel. If your pet is aggressive, overly anxious, or fearful, finding alternative care for him or her may be preferable.
Make sure you have pet-friendly accommodations lined up well in advance, including pit stops along the way. If you are staying with friends or relatives, be certain that your pet will be welcome there. Plan for your pet’s care during the times you will be away, and make sure you include plenty of pet-friendly activities to keep your pet busy and engaged.
There’s nothing like hitting the open road with your pet! Just be sure to plan for his or her safety and comfort ahead of time:
- Make sure your pet is properly restrained while in the car.
- Make frequent stops to allow your pet to go to the bathroom, move around, and release a little energy.
- Bring plenty of food and water for your pet, and offer water at each stop. Try to keep your pet’s feeding schedule as normal as possible.
Air travel with a pet can present some serious challenges, and the sooner you can start preparing, the better. In addition to contacting the airline regarding their specific rules and regulations when it comes to pets, you will need a pet health certificate in order to cross state lines, which can be obtained here at the clinic.
Give us a call to start the process as soon as you know your travel plans.
To the Mountains!
Escaping to the mountains during the heat of the summer just makes sense, and your pet probably agrees. Keep the following in mind for safe trekking:
- Bring plenty of fresh water and a water bowl for your pet.
- It’s easy to forget that pets have shorter legs than we do! Choose easier hiking trails to avoid wearing out your furry friend.
- Download the American Red Cross Pet First Aid app for your phone, and be sure to pack your pet first aid kit.
- Fleas, ticks, and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes abound in the wilderness. Give us a call if you need a refill on your pet’s parasite prevention medication before you leave.
To the Beach!
There’s nothing like watching your dog frolic in the waves! Even dogs who swim well need to wear life vests, especially when boating. Offer plenty of clean water to your dog throughout the day to keep him or her from drinking salt water, as it can cause dehydration, diarrhea, and/or vomiting. Other forms of freshwater, such as lakes or rivers, are also off-limits for drinking, as they may contain bacteria or protozoa that can sicken your pet.
Take the time to rinse and towel dry your pet after a day at the beach to prevent the salt water from drying out his or her skin and fur, and to remove sand and other debris that may have accumulated.
Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags and that he or she has been microchipped (and the chip has been registered) before you leave for your trip. We look forward to seeing your pet for a wellness visit to make sure that he or she is healthy enough for travel and is current up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations.
From all of us at Long Animal Hospital, bon voyage!