Taking Your Pet on Vacation? Here Are 3 Helpful Tips From a Veterinarian by Donna John
According to MarketResearch.com, nearly one-third of dog owners take their pets with them if they are going away for two or more nights. GoPetFriendly.com puts that number even higher at 51 percent and three-quarters of those respondents will travel by car. So how can you ensure the safest trip possible with your pet? Here are a few tips from Dr. Jessica Downing of Valley Cottage Animal Hospital.
- Hitting the Road: First and foremost, pets, including dogs, cats or other animals, should never be allowed to roam freely in a moving vehicle. We wear our seat belts and secure our children with seat belts and our pets should be secured the same way. They can be placed inside a carrier, which is then secured with a seat belt to ensure it won’t get tossed around in an accident. Pets can also be restrained with a pet-friendly harness.
- Air Travel: If you’re traveling by air, consider a pet-friendly airline. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, each airline is able to decide their own policies and procedures and some do not allow pets to travel in the cabin. Call the airline ahead of time to ask for their specific policies and requirements. Avoid placing your pet underneath the plane and instead find out if they can be in the cabin with you. Poor ventilation, extreme temperatures and loud engine noise can have devastating, sometimes deadly consequences for pets placed in the cargo area.
- Ensuring Anxious Free Travel: If you know that your pet becomes anxious while travelling, consult your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication to make the experience less stressful for both you and your pet. Always bring your pet’s regular food with you to avoid digestive upset. It is also a good idea to carry an extra supply of your pet’s medication and a copy of your pet’s medical records.
If you can't take your pet with you, always provide your pet sitter or kennel staff with a permission letter should they need to seek medical care for your pet while you are away. Alert your veterinarian of your wishes for your pet’s medical care should they need to provide medical assistance/advice in your absence.
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