Traveling with Your Pet?
What To Know Before You Go!
Christmas is one of the busiest travel times of the year for those of us who visit family or take vacations. While many families board their precious pets to avoid the potential trauma and problems a long road trip or airplane flight may cause, others like having their furry friends along for the ride as their travel companion.
If you’re contemplating a family trip with your pet, make sure you first consider your pet’s age, health, and temperament. Travel is stressful enough for parents this time of year, so imagine what it can be like for an aging pet, one who has health issues, or a difficult disposition with other pets or people. Once you’re satisfied these issues are not a problem, here are some tips to make their travel safe and less stressful…for everyone.
Before you start the car or board the plane, make sure your pet has a wellness check-up and their vaccines are up to date. Traveling with a sick pet or exposing them to other pets who may be ill, is dangerous and could definitely ruin a family vacation.
Planning your pet’s travel is no different than planning your own. Make sure you pack their food, bottled water, feeding bowls, medicine (if needed), bedding, toys, collar, leash, vaccination/ID tag, brush, and pet treats. This helps you avoid giving them food that is not pet-friendly. It’s also helpful to bring a portable kennel. This provides a safe space if you have to leave your pet unattended. You should also make sure you have the clinic’s phone number
(205-967-7383) handy in case you need to contact us. Make sure to locate (in advance) a reliable animal clinic at your destination, in the event emergency services are needed.
Due diligence ahead of the trip assures that the hotel selected allows pets. Just as importantly, if you’re staying with friends or family, make sure they are informed, and your pet is a welcomed guest.
Microchip Your Pet
If your pet has not been implanted with a microchip, consider having this painless and safe injection. This simple procedure can improve your chances of getting your pet back if they become lost.
Traveling By Car
Some pets enjoy a nice car ride and others can be constant whiners or nervous pups. If you think your pet might not handle extended travel very well, we can prescribe medication to help calm your pet and reduce their stress. Just call
205-967-7383 to schedule an appointment.
To help them adapt to the travel conditions, make sure you build in several stops along your route for water, restroom breaks, and to stretch their legs. This is especially helpful for older pets. It also breaks up long trips into manageable segments. Just make sure you NEVER leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle.
Also, be sure you secure your pet in a travel kennel or seat harness for their safety and yours.
Traveling By Plane
According to the
American Kennel Club…
- Airlines make it clear that it is the owner’s responsibility to verify the dog’s health and ability to fly. Ask us if it would be best for your dog to be tranquilized for the trip. Also, be sure to check the temperature of the flight’s starting point and destination; it may be too hot or too cold to be safe for your dog.
Julie Grimes, DVM
Melissa Joseph Miller, DVM
Sarah Foster, DVM