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How to responsibly travel with your pets this summer

Top Dog County Club (Facebook)
Posted at 3:54 PM, May 19, 2021

COLLEGE STATION, TX — Well, they say every dog has its day... but it may not include your PTO.

So what do you do when making plans this summer?

According to the A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science, the answer is pretty straightforward, plan ahead.

Indeed, while the deed may be daunting, with proper planning, owners should feel confident taking their furry friend on the go this summer season!

To begin, when air traveling, start by notifying your airline, lodging, and of course your veterinarian. Owners should also reach out to the appropriate authorities to ensure their pet has the proper documentation, especially when crossing state lines.

It is best to check the specific requirements of your destination to ensure that you are in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations when you arrive.

Time factors to consider may include meeting time frames for obtaining a health certificate, updating vaccinations, diagnostic testing, or administration of medications/ treatments.

When obtaining the proper documentation from your veterinarian, owners should also ensure that their pet is up to date on all vaccinations, heartworm prevention, ectoparasite (such as fleas and ticks) prevention, has a registered microchip with current contact information, and has a legible tag on their collar or harness.

Tags should include a pet’s name, an emergency phone number, and any pertinent medical information.

Owners of pets who rely on a medical device, such as a glucose monitor or pacemaker, should speak with their veterinarian about what resources are available near their destination. If your pet struggles with anxiety or motion sickness, ask your veterinarian how to best accommodate their needs during travel.

If your pet receives daily medication, it's also important to make sure you have enough to last through your trip and to pack a paper copy of the prescription(s), in case any of them get misplaced.

Another tip?

Keeping your pet in a travel crate or carrier when they are unattended in a new environment. This keeps your pet out of mischief and ensures that your pet is in a safe and familiar feeling place.

Owners can also help foster a familiar environment for their pet by using the same litter their cat uses at home when traveling, and by feeding them a consistent diet. Avoiding the introduction of new food and treats while traveling may also reduce the risk of digestive incidents.

In the case of other potential emergencies, experts recommend carrying waste bags, water, time-sensitive medications, and at least a small portion of your pet’s food no matter where you go.

Owners may also wish to research where local emergency veterinary centers are along their route or near their destination. Owners may also want to purchase pet insurance for their animals and should keep their policies on hand when traveling. If possible, include insurance information on your pet’s collar or harness tag.