Hit The Road: Pet Travel Tips

Hit The Road: Pet Travel Tips

travelSpring break and summer vacations are right around the corner and, while many dogs enjoy car rides, some pets may be apprehensive about road trips or airplane travel. Bringing your best pal along can have joyful results (so many new smells!), but there are numerous important – and mandatory – pre-requisites to safe, positive pet travel.

To support your pet’s comfort and safety while away from home, we offer the following tidbits:

Driving To Your Destination

Your pet might seem the best co-pilot ever (even if there is a slight issue of him or her eating your atlas outside a rest stop in the middle of nowhere), but he or she should not sit unfastened in the front passenger seat.

You both may have to get used to the idea, but your pet must be safely restrained with an appropriate vehicle harness, or in his or her pet kennel that is buckled into place (crate trained cats will need this, too). Consider how dangerous it could be for your untethered small dog or cat should you get into an accident. Please buckle up!

Road trips will be less stressful for everyone if the following suggestions are practiced:

  • Stop often (every 2-3 hours should suffice) for bathroom breaks, meals and water, and exercise
  • Switch the placement of your pet’s carrier or harness so that he or she is not getting blinded by the sun coming in through the side windows
  • Although your pet will be restrained (limiting the likelihood of sticking his or her head out of your moving car’s window), keep the car windows closed or only open slightly; employ your vehicle’s AC or fan
  • Always make sure your pet is getting the right amount of air, and is neither overheating nor shivering
  • Make sure your pet’s ID is safely fastened, microchip information is updated, and bring a recent photograph of your pet along with you, just in case
  • Create a list of vet clinics throughout your travel area, and in your destination city, in case your pet becomes ill while away from home
  • Travel with your pet’s vaccination records, and don’t forget any medications he or she may need while away from home
  • Pet Travel On Planes

    Flying with your pet between states is a little different from international flying, but either scenario requires that you obtain a certificate of veterinary inspection within ten days of travel. Please schedule your pet’s appointment so we can help you with this prior to your flight. Your destination may require quarantine or additional paperwork. Also:

  • Speak with the airline directly to ensure your pet will be accepted on the flight – whether in cargo or in the cabin
  • Check on your pet’s carrier or crate size (this will determine where he or she will be stowed) and label it with your pet’s name and picture, as well as your contact information
  • Reduce the portion size of your pet’s meals one day before departure; maintain good water supply
  • Offer a light meal two hours before the flight
  • Exercise your pet before placing him or her in travel kennel
  • Check your airline’s website for more detailed pet travel information
  • If your pet is small enough to ride below the seat in front of you, purchase a comfortable carrier designed specifically for air travel. Not all airports have the same pet amenities. If you have a layover, we recommend knowing in advance where you can safely take your pet for some relaxation and fresh air.

    Tips For Pet Travel Success

    Whether you are traveling by car or plane, make sure that your final vacation destination is pet-friendly. Make your reservations in advance to ensure your pet will be comfortable (some places may even boast that they pamper pets). Research the pet rules or regulations of your destination city or country; if you are going to a place that requires updated parasite prevention or additional vaccination, you’ll want to get this out of the way in advance.

    Lastly, please know that Schertz Animal Hospital offers boarding services. If you are unable to bring your pet along, he or she will remain safe and comfortable with us. Please let us know if we can help you and your pet.

    Happy trails!

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    Schertz Animal Hospital

    Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!