Traveling with your pet
by NW Vet Staff
Make sure your pet is healthy and stress free before traveling. Call us with any questions or concerns well before your trip. Bring your furry family memebr in for a check up before going on an extended trip. Make sure all his vaccinations are up to date; shot records with you. Health certifications are required for airline travel. To keep your pet healthy as you travel, bring along a supply of his regular food and some local, or bottled, water. Be sure to bring any medications he needs.
A crate is an excellent way to keep your pet safe in the car, and is required for airline travel. It can also keep your pet from getting into trouble in a hotel or at your host's home. Crates are available from most pet supply stores. Look for these features when purchasing:
- Large enough to allow the pet to stand, turn and lie down.
- Strong, with handles and grips, and free of interior protrusions.
- Leak-proof bottom covered with absorbent material.
- Ventilation on opposing sides, with exterior rims or knobs to prevent blocked airflow.
- "Live Animal" label, arrows upright, with owner's name, address and phone number.
- Stock the crate with a comfortable mat, your pets favorite toy, and a water bottle, and your dog is ready to go.
In the event that your pet gets away from you on your trip, you can increase the chances of recovery by making sure he can be properly identified. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar. The collar should have identification tags with their name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots. Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip, call us for more information. Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you.
If traveling by car, get your pet used to the car by letting him sit in it with you without leaving the driveway, and then going for short rides. We offer safe and specific medications made for travel nausea in pets. This is something we can prescribe before travel and you can have ahead of time. Make sure that the car is well-ventilated. If your pet is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate. Be sure to stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. Never leave your pet unattended in a closed vehicle, particularly in the summer. If you must leave the car, designate a member of the family to stay with the dog.
When traveling by plane, each airline has its own set of rules for canine air travel. Be sure to call for information and make arrangements well in advance of your trip. All airlines require health certifications and proof of vaccinations. Our veterinarians are certified to sign both domestic and international health certificates for pet travel. Some airlines will not transport animals when it is extremely hot or cold, or they may restrict breeds, such as brachycephalics. Be sure to check with your airline to ensure your pet will be safe in drastic temperature changes. We understand that traveling or moving with your pet can be stressfull. We are here to answer any questions.
Also visit this link for international travel information on specific regional requirements. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel
If you plan to travel by train or bus, be sure to note that mainly only service dogs are allowed. Dogs are not permitted on Amtrak trains or on buses operated by Greyhound and other interstate bus companies. Local rail and bus companies may have their own policies. Be sure to call in advance.
Find out in advance which hotels or motels at your destination or on your route allow pets. Many do not, or have size or breed restrictions. If your pet is allowed to stay at a hotel, respect other guests, staff and the property. Keep your pets as quiet as possible. Do not leave the pets unattended. Remember that one bad experience with a pet guest may prompt the hotel management to refuse to allow any pets. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds in good condition.
Follow this link to one of our favorite pet friendly travel tip sites and call us with any additional questions.
Broadway Animal Hospital, Everett (425)252-8266
Northgate Veterinary Clinic, Seattle (206)363-8421