Summer Travel Tips

As you prepare your summer travel plans with your pets, there are a few things to consider when reaching your destination with your furry friend.

Car: As you pack the vehicle for your trip, scan for anything your travel buddy can get into. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), medications, food items, pens, coins, cosmetics, etc., can be harmful and even toxic if your pet ingests them. Ensure all harmful items are secured away from your pet to avoid unwanted ingestion. Be sure to pack food and water, and frequently stop for breaks. Never leave your pet unattended in a car, as temperatures can quickly rise inside and be very hazardous to your pet’s health.

Water: As you arrive at your destination and see the beautiful blue waters (fresh or salt), remember to keep your pets safe. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water to your pets as they swim. Ensure they are not drinking excessive amounts of salt water, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, tremors, and seizures. Avoid any bodies of water with known toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), as these can be liver toxic or neurotoxic to both pets and humans. Check local postings to verify if water samples have tested positive.

New Environment: As you unpack, inspect where you will be staying with your pet. Things like rodenticides, pesticides, herbicides, indoor or outdoor plants (Sago palms, lilies, irises, mushrooms, etc.), medications, and more may be harmful to your pet. Be sure to place all potentially toxic items out of your pet’s reach. To ensure their safety, kennel your pet when you are not watching them.

If your pet manages to encounter or consume any of the above concerns, this may be urgent. Please contact a nearby emergency veterinary hospital or Pet Poison Helpline for further information and treatment guidelines. Discuss with your veterinarian further concerns about traveling with your pet prior to leaving for your destination.


Written by:

Nicole Sedivy, Pet Poison Helpline DVM student extern, Iowa State University Class of 2023
And Samantha Koch, CVT Pet Poison Helpline