In the past few years, there’s been a cultural shift regarding our nation’s pets. Animals are now welcome in many establishments, including hotels, stores, and restaurants. This makes traveling with a pet more convenient and enticing. However, to mitigate stress and protect your pet, we recommend implementing certain safety measures along the way.
If you plan on traveling with a pet outside of California, the west coast, or the country, one of the first things you should do is schedule your pet’s wellness exam. This should take place at least one week before your departure. During this visit, your veterinarian may:
- Assess general health and wellbeing
- Update all necessary vaccinations to protect your pet against diseases common to your destination locale
- Provide you with your pet’s medical records to keep on hand while away from home
- Insert a microchip or help you update your pet’s current microchip
- Ensure that your pet is on an appropriate parasite prevention plan (especially critical if your destination is known for ticks or heartworm-infected mosquitoes)
- Refill any prescriptions
- Help you complete your pet’s health certificate (required for travel on airlines and by many state laws)
Once you schedule an exam, delve into the rules and restrictions of your airline and the local laws of your destination. Also check out a list of pet friendly hotels and find a dog park in your vacation area.
In Good Company
Before you set out into the great wide open, we recommend that your pet be able to understand and respond to basic training. Certain commands, such as sit, stay, down, come, and heel are essential to keeping your pet safe. At the very least, your pet should be able to walk calmly on a leash and come when his or her name is called. Good manners also come in handy when traveling with a pet!
Lastly, exercise your pet thoroughly before you hit the road. Burning off energy encourages relaxation. Your pet may even fall asleep at the beginning of your trip.
Prepare for the Worst
We all get a little discombobulated during a trip, and traveling with a pet can present additional challenges. There’s so much to see, smell, discover, and, of course, taste. Your pet may take the opportunity to sample any number of foreign items, most of which may not even be food (or remotely tasty!).
When traveling with your pet, watch closely to make sure he or she doesn’t eat something toxic, and have a kit on hand to clean up any vomit or diarrhea. We also advise you to be prepared in case of a pet emergency. Do your research and know where to go if your pet needs help quickly.
Safety First: Traveling With A Pet
Our team applauds your sense of adventure! We hope our tips help you and your pet have the best experience possible. Remember, while it’s important to have a good time away from home, your pet’s safety should be one of your top priorities. We encourage you to:
- Keep up with your pet’s normal routine
- Make sure your pet remains well hydrated
- Never leave your pet alone inside a parked car
Please let us know if you have other questions or concerns about traveling with a pet. Have fun!