Six Tips on Traveling with your Pet

You may think that no trip would be complete without your dog or cat, but you have no idea how to get him or her ready to travel. The process can be stressful for you and your pet if you don’t prepare properly. That is why the following six tips should come in handy as you get ready for your vacation with your furry plus-one:

1. Keep up on Vaccinations

You should make an effort to update your pet’s vaccinations before setting off on your trip. This is especially true if your pet is going to be in close contact with other animals. Sometimes, in such situations, your veterinarian will recommend additional shots for his or her safety. You should ask well in advance of your travel date, however, because some vaccinations require multiple injections over a few weeks’ time.

Also, don’t forget vaccination records and a short transcript of your pet’s veterinary history. Sometimes, when crossing state lines, a vaccination record is required. Also, you should have all your pet’s medical history on hand in case there is an emergency and he or she has to be seen by a doctor.

2. Maintain your Pet in a Safe Carrier or Crate

When you are traveling by air, a crate or carrier is required in order to board your pet. However, you should also invest in a carrier or crate if you are traveling by car. This is best for his or her safety and yours. It will keep him or her securely in position, refrain the animal from hanging its head outside the window (which is extraordinarily dangerous), and also keep him or her from jumping on you unexpectedly if they are spooked. Such isolated incidents can cause serious injury or a car accident.

You can find many types of crates and carriers, including those that are soft-sided, wire-meshed, or made from hard plastic. For your pet’s comfort, you must be sure that the crate or carrier is large enough to move around in, as well as lie down, sit and stand in comfortably. Try to get him or her comfortable inside the crate while still in the comfort of your home before attempting to travel in it.

3. Take your Pet for Test Drives

Take your pet for short drives around town to get him or she used to the idea of car travel. Even if you are planning to fly to your destination, the ride to the airport is sure to cause your pet abnormal amounts of anxiety. Test drives will get him or her accustomed to the ride.

4. Be Careful around Strange Plants

Being in a different area than you are used to means that you will be surrounded with strange plants that you do not have immediate knowledge of. Mushrooms, azaleas, and lilies can be deadly to certain breeds of dogs and cats. Keep watch of what they ingest, and if you are unsure of something, contact a local veterinarian or poison control center.

5. Prepare with Parasite Prevention

Be sure to either purchase full-spectrum parasite relief from your local pet store or ask your veterinarian for a suitable recommendation. This is something that you will have to take into careful consideration if you are traveling to a hot or humid climate where parasite infestation is more than likely.

6. Take Precaution with Food and Water

You should feed your pet familiar foods when traveling because most animals cannot deal with an overload of change. Sometimes new foods can lead to diarrhea, and that makes for one very unpleasant trip for you and your pet. You should always bring food along just in case the local stores don’t carry your regular brand.

Also, though you should provide fresh water at all times, you should take your water from home and bottle it. Local water could be just different enough to cause your pet stomach upset.

In conclusion, traveling with your pet doesn’t have to be stressful. Just follow these tips and you should be able to travel easily, safely and comfortably. After all, with a just a bit of preparation you should have little to no problem with getting your dog or cat ready for your anticipated trip.

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