September 21, 2022
Do you plan to take your pet with you on a trip? Or are you moving with your pet?
Here are some pet travel tips you should consider before you go!
Do you need documents for your pet to travel?
Travel by car within the US does not typically require documentation. Entrance to Canada may require a Rabies Certificate and other documents. Air travel typically does require documents. Hawaii and other “Rabies Free” locations may require Rabies testing. And many international destinations require an involved health certificate. BE PREPARED! Testing and document prep often need to be done MONTHS IN ADVANCE of travel! Your best bet is to research the requirements of your destination and your airline well before you plan to leave. We also STRONGLY recommend a planning meeting with your vet as soon as you know about your trip. The requirements can be difficult to interpret and your vet can help make sure you have everything in place. Also check to make sure you have the documents you need to return to the USA if that is your plan!
Here is a link for information about the travel requirements of different locations: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel
How will your pet be traveling?
Will they be with your or on their own? Traveling by car or by plane? In a crate or carrier? Consider if the weather will be too hot or cold for you pet to wait on the runway for a plane or sit in a car while you take a restroom break. Some airlines restrict travel in hot or cold weather, so learn the requirements and be ready to adapt.
Does your pet get anxious during travel?
If your pet gets anxious while traveling, consult with your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication or calming pheromones that could help reduce travel stress. If you pet is traveling without you, placing a blanket or sweatshirt that smells like home in the carrier may provide some comfort.
Plan for basic needs
Make sure you have a plan for food and water and potty breaks during travel. Pack the appropriate crate/carrier or leash for your pet. Know where your pet is allowed, and where they aren’t, during your journey.
Plan for your destination
Have the appropriate vaccinations and parasite prevention (both internal and external) for your destination. Some locations require deworming before entry. Others may have diseases or parasites that your pet is not exposed to at home. This may require some advanced preparation (ie if a new vaccine needs a booster, you should get the first shot at least 4-6 weeks before travel). Your veterinarian can help you figure out what you need. Have pet friendly accommodations established. Know where to go with your pet in the case of an emergency.
We love seeing pets traveling around with their owners. And we wish you and your pet many happy journeys! If you have any questions about preparing for a trip with your pet, we would love to help. Just call our office for an appointment!