The holiday season brings the excitement of gatherings with family and friends and often this necessitates traveling with our furry family members. Here are some things to consider when traveling with your pets.
When making travel plans ensure your pet’s collar or harness and leash are in good shape and fit properly. Also ensure identification tags are legible and up to date with the most current phone number and rabies vaccine tags. Be sure the cell phone number you are traveling with is included on your pet’s identification tags. If your pet does not already have this, consider permanent identification in the form of a microchip.
If traveling by air be sure all vaccinations are up to date and that you have the relevant travel paperwork including a rabies vaccine certificate and a health certificate issued by a USDA accredited veterinarian.
Travel during the holiday season often brings inclement weather. Consider your pet’s safety while riding in the car with you. When traveling with cats and small dogs, secure them in a carrier which is safely attached inside the vehicle. Dogs can be secured with various forms of seat belt harnesses to provide safety in the event of an accident. You can also confine larger dogs to the rear of the car with specially constructed dividers; however, we still advise having them tethered to the vehicle with a pet seat belt adapter in the event of a car accident. Be sure you have tested these options prior to travel to ensure your pet will tolerate them.
When traveling with pets often emotions are running high and many of our pets may experience motion sickness and travel related anxiety. Discuss medications with your veterinarian to help with nausea caused by motion sickness and medication to help with travel related anxiety. If your pet is prone to stress induced diarrhea, beginning a probiotic supplement the week or two prior to departure can help prevent this problem. If your pet is on long-term medication be sure to pack enough for your trip.
When traveling with your animal, it’s helpful to stay consistent with feeding your pet’s regular diet. This will help prevent digestive upset. When possible, stick to a similar routine for walks and potty breaks. Ensure pets have consistent access to water and the ability to eliminate regularly during travel, roughly every 2-3 hours. Cats will benefit from access to a small litter box within their transport crate.
When traveling with your pet, be mindful that family and friends are new to your pet and can be stressful for your furry friends as well! Be sure to give them plenty of time out in a crate or quiet room to rest and recuperate from busy social time.
Your Friends at Kanab Veterinary Hospital!
Have a Happy Holiday Season!