January 2 is National Pet Travel Safety Day, but with the holidays right around the corner here are some great travel tips for you and your pets!
FIRST and foremost, make sure your pet’s physical condition is conducive to traveling. If your pet has not been examined by his/her veterinarian recently, then making an appointment for a wellness examination prior to travel is highly recommended. This may be especially important if your pet has motion sickness or gets nauseated in the car. Often times, it’s impossible to gauge motion sickness or nausea until you see the effects such as licking their lips or salivating. If needed, your veterinarian can prescribe preventative medications to reduce nausea and motion sickness prior to a trip.
SECONDLY, pack a pet first-aid kit along with your pets medical records, medications, and if required, a health certificate. Also, know your veterinarian’s phone number and the National Animal Poison Control Central hotline number. You may even want to consider knowing where veterinary emergency hospitals are located in the area where you’re traveling to and along your travel route.
THIRDLY, make your sure pet is properly identified with ID tags on the pet’s collars. You should also keep a current picture of your pet on your cell phone. Another great identification tip is to have your pet microchipped (if not already). This is a form of permanent identification which would be especially important if your pet’s ID tags on the collar were lost.
For air travelers:
See your veterinarian before flying for a wellness examination and general health certificate and rabies vaccination certificate issued within 10 days of your scheduled flight. In order to minimize stress to your pet, it is best to choose a nonstop flight if available. Always check with your airline about specific guidelines for pet travel; for instance, airlines won’t allow puppies and kittens younger than 8 weeks to travel.
For car travelers:
Take your pet on short trips around the neighborhood prior to a long trip in order to acclimate him/her to long-trips. ALWAYS secure your pet with a seat belt harness or a pet carrier that is appropriate size for your pet. Remember to make frequent stops to allow your pet to take a potty break while traveling and offer a small amount of water during these breaks. Please remember to use pick-up bags and clean up after your pet during the stops.