On The Road Again

Jun 11, 2018

As summer is upon us, traveling with your pet becomes much more common. There are some important things to consider when on the road with your dog or Cat to make sure they are comfortable and you are prepared.

1) Take your pet’s normal food and treats with you. This also applies to when you drop an animal off for boarding. Keeping their meals consistent will greatly decrease instances of GI upset. Keeping a few cans of Royal Canin Gastrointestinal diet and probiotics on hand is also helpful if you’re away and your pet has loose stool- there’s not much worse than cleaning up diarrhea on vacation!

2) If your pet gets stressed when you take them on a trip or when boarding, some homeopathic approaches to relieve stress include thunder shirts, Adaptil collars for dogs, Feliway spray/diffusers/collars for cats, and Zylkene behavioral supplement.  If these things are not effective and you feel like your pet needs additional stress relief, please schedule an appointment to discuss possibly medicating with anti-anxiety medications. This is something you want to do several weeks before you plan to leave on your trip as oftentimes, the medication needs to be tested ahead of time for efficacy and to make sure we find the right dose.

3) Seatbelts! A pet seatbelt can save your pets life and can significantly reduce distraction to the driver. Seatbelts can be attached around small pet carriers or attached to an animals harness and then clipped into the seatbelt buckle.

4) Carry a copy of your pets vaccine record and a list of medications and dosages with you when you travel in case the unexpected happens.  Having extra medications with you is always a good idea.

5) Animals don’t sweat and temperatures in your car can rise very rapidly. This can lead to heat stroke, exhaustion, and in some cases death. If you are going to leave you pet in the car, it’s best to park in the shade and leave the air conditioning running or the windows completely open- cracking the windows is not enough to prevent a dangerous temperature rise in your car.

6) If you are traveling with your pet by plane, make sure to look up all of the airlines requirements well before you plan to travel as every airline has different requirements for documentation which sometimes requires signatures by your veterinarian or official health certificates. International health certificates can be a very lengthy process and involve lots of paperwork so best to start this process early.
Technically, any animal traveling between state lines should have an interstate health certificate (although this is rarely, if ever, enforced with car travel.)

7) Don’t let pesky bugs get you down. Make sure your pet is protected from fleas and ticks with a good quality anti-parasite control like monthly Nexgard. Whether you’re going to the beach or the mountains, fleas and ticks can be more prevalent in certain regions than you may be used to at home.  Fleas can carry plague, give your pet tapeworms and cause skin disease while ticks can pass on potentially serious diseases like Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever among others.

8) Make sure your pet is microchipped and that their chip registration is up to date with all of your most recent contact information.  Pets are more nervous outside of their normal environment and more likely to get lost. Microchips are the most reliable way to get your pet back. That being said, it’s not uncommon for us to have people bring in animals they have found that have a working microchip that is either unregistered or whose registration includes old and useless information. If you have moved, changed phone numbers, etc. that information needs to be up to date on your account. To check your current contact information, enter your pet’s microchip number into the search engine on http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/  This website will then tell you which company your chip is registered with and you can then contact that company directly or online to check your pets details. If you need to know your pets microchip number, you can bring your pet in to have the chip scanned at any time. 

As always, we are committed to helping to keep your pets healthy and happy. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations with all of your fun summer plans!

Dr. Stacy Logsdon