Whether you are hitting the road or flying the friendly skies with your pet this summer, our tips – provided by BluePearl technicians and doctors – are sure to help relieve some of the stress that you and your pet may experience while traveling together.
- Always make sure you have plenty of your pet’s medication packed. Take extra to be on the safe side.
- Pack a first aid kit for your pet: tweezers to remove ticks, bandaging material for any cuts, hydrogen peroxide, etc. Click here for a list of items to include in your pet first aid kit.
- If the pet has any ongoing medical conditions, take a copy of their medical record with you.
- Identify the nearest animal emergency hospital to where you are staying and have the phone number handy.
- Make sure your pet’s heartworm and flea prevention medications are current.
- Don’t feed a large meal before leaving; simply allow periodic snacking.
- Carry collapsible bowls for food and water.
- Make sure that dog tags are clearly visible because people are more likely to catch pets if they can return them to the owner. Having your pet get a microchip for identification is a good step too.
- If your pet has implants (e.g. plates or screws from orthopedic surgery), and he/she will be flying, you should bring a note from your veterinarian.
- When flying, be sure to have wheels for your carrier. Even a 10-pound animal can get heavy when carried in a shoulder carrier walking through a long airport terminal.
- If your dog is one of the 17% that get sick when traveling, ask your veterinarian about a new anti-vomiting medication called Cerenia. Dogs get motion sickness either because they are anxious while traveling or because their balance is affected by movement. In either case, Cerenia blocks vomiting signals, which prevents dogs from getting sick.
Special considerations for kitty
Cats can be particularly sensitive to traveling. Here are tips for keeping your cat calm:
- Try spraying “Feliway”, a synthetic feline facial pheromone, in the carrier about 30 minutes before leaving to help calm the feline traveler. Placing some catnip in the carrier may also serve the same purpose.
- Don’t use tranquilizers or sedatives in cats for travel due to potential complications such as hypotension or paradoxical hyper-excitability.
- ALWAYS keep your cat confined in a carrier while traveling. A frightened feline can easily escape through an open car window or door without anyone noticing.
- Be sure to carry some moistened and dry paper towels and plastic bags for potential carrier accidents.
- Finally, invest in a pair of earplugs for the car journey!