Traveling with your pet

Traveling with your pet? Keep these tips in mind…

What better way to enjoy the summer than to go on a big trip with your pet? Traveling with your pet can be a fun way to vacation. There are just a few tips you should keep in mind to make it a fun time for everyone involved!

Pet Travel Plans

When traveling with your pet, it’s best to make detailed travel plans (including a checklist of necessities) before hitting the road. Is your pet going to be traveling on a plane? In a car? Your mode of transportation might require you to follow specific rules. 

Air Travel with a Pet

If your final destination is far away, plane travel often makes the most sense. But is flying on a plane pet-friendly? The short answer is that it can be! 

  • Flying with your pet is best when they can travel in the cabin under the seat in front of you. It ultimately ensures they travel safely and everyone arrives healthy and happy. If your pet can’t travel in the cabin, then it’s best to find an alternate mode of transportation.
  • Right before you travel, get a health certificate signed from your veterinarian. At PetWellClinic, we can do a physical exam and ensure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations before flying the friendly skies, as well as provide a signed health certificate for domestic travel.
  • Make sure your pet carrier is airline friendly. Each airline will have different required dimensions, but there are a lot of options available online or in your local pet store for both dogs and cats. It’s important that the carrier has breathable mesh and fits under the seat in front of you.

Different airlines require different steps for traveling with your pet on a plane. It’s important to do your research and know what’s required as soon as you book your flight.

Car Travel with a Pet

Road trips can be fun for the entire family. Car travel can be the best way to transport your pet, even if it isn’t always the fastest route. But before you and your pet hit the road, there’s a little bit of planning to do.

  • What’s your destination? If you’re planning to stay overnight somewhere, make sure your accommodations are pet-friendly. Many hotel brands are pet-friendly, but calling ahead to confirm will eliminate a huge headache down the line.
  • If you’re traveling in the car with your cat, you should have a disposable litter box and plenty of treats handy. Setting up your cat’s crate in the car with their favorite things can help them feel more comfortable during a car ride, too.
  • If you’re traveling in the car with your dog, map out appropriate stops along your route for them to relieve themselves. Most rest stops have pet waste stations, and some truck stops even have fenced in dog parks where your pup can stretch their legs.
  • Bring the right pet supplies. Having toys, blankets, and treats that your pets are familiar with can make a car trip more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Starting a road trip with the right plans and preparation makes a huge difference, and is a great way to include your pet on a vacation.

Pet Health & Travel

No matter where you’re going or how you’re getting there, it’s always a good idea to get your pet checked out by a veterinarian before going on your trip. 

Health Certificate

As we mentioned above, traveling by plane requires a health certificate for your pet. But in the U.S., if you’re crossing state lines you should plan to have a current health certificate no matter what your mode of transportation. 

According to the AVMA, “the health certificate must be signed by an accredited veterinarian after examining your pet and determining that it is free of infectious diseases and satisfies all import requirements of the receiving state, territory, or country.” If your travels take you outside of the U.S., you’ll want to work directly with your vet to find out all that’s required for your pet to travel.

Medicating Pets for Comfortable Travel

If your pet finds traveling stressful for any reason, you can speak with your PetWellClinic veterinarian about safe ways of medicating your pet for anxiety or even motion sickness. You may feel weird medicating your pet just to go on a trip, but advancements in veterinary medicine have taught us a lot about anxiety in our animals and the benefits of medication.

If you don’t want to go the prescription medicine route, you can ask your vet about natural or over-the-counter alternatives to calm your pet during travel. Here are a few of our top recommendations:

  • Calming pet pheromones: Calming pheromones can do wonders for an anxious pet. They come in formulas for both dogs and cats, and in a variety of forms. From wall plug-ins to sprays, you can choose the best option for you and your pet by visiting your local pet store.
  • Calming pet treats: There are now a variety of calming pet treats on the market. They’re all made with different ingredients and some may work better than others, but try out some with your pet before you go on any trip to discover the best one for your situation.
  • Calming/Anxiety Vest: An anxiety vest often has a calming effect on dogs who are nervous and stressed. Finding the right brand and fit is important for full effectiveness.

Healthy Pet Routine During Travel

It’s easy to lose any routine we may have when traveling, but it’s important to maintain your pet’s routine while they travel. Whether from excitement or stress, your pet may have trouble eating, drinking water, or sleeping like they normally would, but here are three benchmarks to keep them healthy while traveling:

  • Make it easy for them to eat and enjoy the food they’re used to
  • Make sure they always have access to water
  • Make sure they’re comfortable enough to sleep

Keeping your pet doing these things like usual can help them adapt to traveling and have a great time in the process!

The Best Travel Companion Possible

Choosing to travel with your pet can be a lot of fun, but it does take some planning. First, choose whether you’ll be traveling by plane or car, and then create a plan based on that. Visit your PetWellClinic to make sure your pet is healthy before hitting the road, and discuss how to get a health certificate with one of our vets. Pack all of your pet’s essentials, including anything to help keep them calm while traveling, and make sure they’re eating, drinking, and relieving themselves normally.

Following these steps can ensure that both you and your pet have a fun time traveling, whether you’re crossing the country in a car, or flying to your favorite destination. 

PetWellClinic is dedicated to being here for pet owners. Our hours of operation extend into the evenings and weekends, and our clinic environment is built with your pet’s comfort in mind. Prepare your furry friend for their next big adventure! Bring them by your local PetWellClinic for their annual exam and vaccines today!
PetWellClinic provides convenient, affordable veterinary care for pet owners. PetWellClinic has locations and services built with convenience in mind. Stop by with your pet any time! No appointment necessary.

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