By Cassie Panning, CVT
Veterinary Information Specialist
Millions of pets travel each year with their owners. This may be for the Holidays, or just on a family vacation. With the Holiday season in full swing, you may be considering bringing your pets with you as you travel. Before you venture out with your four legged family member, here are a few tips to help you prepare.
- First, ensure that your destination allows pets. You may be staying at a hotel that has a specific pet policy. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the policy before you arrive and bring any necessary paperwork along. While more and more hotels are now allowing pets, be sure to do your research. Some hotels will provide all the comforts of home for your pet while you stay, while others will require you to bring your own accommodations. If you are planning to stay at a hotel, call around to determine which hotel will best fits the needs of you and your pet.
- If you are staying with friends/family, make sure that they are aware that you are bringing your pet with. Some people have allergies to pets and may not welcome them in their home. Your friends and family may also have different rules for pets than you do. Be respectful if they do not want pets sleeping in beds or on the furniture. Bring along your pet’s bed or crate to ensure they have a familiar place to sleep during their time away from home. You will also want to check with the owners of the home to determine if there are any hidden toxins you should be aware of. These can include rodenticides, medications and plants, to name a few.
- Be aware of new stressors. Your pet will be in an unfamiliar location, likely with new and more people around than what they are used to. If your pet appears to be afraid or stressed, it may be best to keep them in a quite area where they can calm down. Even the friendliest dogs or cats may bite or scratch if they feel threatened. Also be sure to use caution around children, especially if both the child and your pet are not familiar with each other. To prevent injury to both the child and your pet, be sure that they are under supervision when interacting with each other.
- When traveling with your pet always prepare for the unexpected. Bring along an adequate supply of pet food and any medications your pet may need. Keep in mind you will want to have some extra packed in case you end up staying longer than anticipated. Always bring your pets medications in the original containers or have the product information available in case your pet or another pet accidentally ingests the medication.
- Have proper identification available. If your pet is not microchipped ensure that you have a collar with a tag on your pet at all times, with a phone number you can be reached at while you are away. You want be able to be reunited with your pet quickly if they happen to get away from you in a new place. Also be sure to bring a copy of your pet’s vaccination history and any current medical history with in case you need to see the veterinarian while you are away from home. You may also want to research the veterinary clinics in the area so you can be familiar with their hours and location should you need them in an emergency.
Making sure that you are prepared and by doing your research before you travel can ensure that both you and your pet have a stress free trip!