Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

Woman and dog traveling by car in style

How to Travel Safely and Comfortably With Your Pet

Pets are spending more time on the road or in the air these days. In fact, close to 95 percent of pet owners planned to take their pets on overnight trips in 2018, according to a Go Pet Friendly survey. Although vacations are always more fun when your pet comes along, traveling does require more planning when your dog, cat or small animal accompanies you. Following a few of these tips just might make travel more pleasant for you and your pets.

Restrain Your Pet

Your pet may prefer to roam free in your car, but that isn't the best option if you want to reach your destination without any unfortunate incidents. Unrestrained animals can be seriously injured in even minor accidents and can pose a hazard to drivers. If you spend more time paying attention to your dog or cat's antics instead of watching the road, you may not notice that the car in front of you stopped suddenly.

Harnesses, pet seatbelts, and car seats keep your dog safe, yet make it easy to view the scenery outside the window. Carriers are usually the best option for cats and small animals. Make sure you secure the handle or strap of the carrier to the seat belt to stabilize the carrier.

Exploding airbags may save your life in an accident, but they can be deadly to pets. For safety's sake, the back seat is the best location for your pets.

If you'll be flying, check with the airline before you purchase a carrier or crate. Each airline may have its own requirements regarding size and type.

Don't Forget the Necessities

You can certainly buy food, water, and litter on the road, but it may make the trip easier if you bring these supplies from home. If you're traveling to an out-of-the-way town for a romantic getaway, it may not be easy to find your pet's preferred food brand in local stores. Unfortunately, introducing new food suddenly can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea, which, needless to say, can certainly kill the romance.

Several manufacturers offer collapsible food and water bowls and litter boxes that take up less space in your luggage. You'll also want to add a temporary tag that lists your cell phone number and your permanent and temporary addresses to your pet's collar.

Microchipping your pets increases the likelihood that they'll be reunited with you if they become lost, but only if your contact information is up-to-date. If you've moved in the past few years, verify that the microchipping registry has the correct contact information.

Include Frequent Pit Stops in Your Itinerary

You'll probably need to stop every few hours when traveling with dogs and cats. Use a collar and lead or a harness and lead to prevent your pet from taking off the moment you open the car door. Breaks provide your pet time for restroom and water breaks. Plus, they give humans and pets alike the opportunity to stretch tired muscles.

Skip Places That Aren't Pet-Friendly

Unless the establishments are pet-friendly, you won't be able to enjoy a meal at a sit-down restaurant or take in a local attraction on your drive to your destination. Leaving your pet alone in the car alone is never a good idea. During the winter or summer, temperatures can quickly plunge or increase in a closed car, leading to a life-threatening situation for your pet.

In fact, the temperature of your car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, even with the windows cracked, according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association. So, this should never be an option.

Don't Feed Your Pet Immediately Before the Trip

Pets can experience motion sickness too. Don't feed your pet four to six hours before your trip to reduce the chance of vomiting or diarrhea. If your dog or cat has been carsick in the past, ask the veterinarian if it's safe to offer anti-nausea medication.

Do you have concerns about your pet's travel readiness, or does your furry friend need immunizations or a health certificate to comply with airline regulations? Give us a call and let us know how we can help.

Sources:

American Veterinary Medical Association: Pets in Vehicles

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/pets-in-vehicles.aspx

Go Pet Friendly: 2018 Pet Travel Survey Results from GoPetFriendly.com

https://blog.gopetfriendly.com/2018-pet-travel-survey-results-from-gopetfriendly-com/

The Humane Society of the United States: Travel Safely with Your Pet by Car, Airplane, Ship or Train

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train

American Veterinary Medical Association: Traveling with Your Pet FAQ, 6/16

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Traveling-with-Your-Pet-FAQs.aspx

ASPCA: Travel Safety Tips

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/travel-safety-tips

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

7:00 am

6:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:00 am

6:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:00 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Thursday:

7:00

6:00

Friday:

7:00 am

6:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am

2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Thanks for the great peace of mind when I bring Oreo in . . . I know he is always getting the most technically advanced treatment that veterinary medicine has to offer! Thanks so much . . . I trust my best friend in your hands! Thanks so much for all that you have done for us!

    You guys are the best pet clinic in the area--really!"
    Steve & "Oreo"
  • "Dr. Gonzales, thanks for making my life easy when it comes to bringing Hershey in to the see you! Although, I think he may have a crush! I am convinced it's a crush . . . or those treats are doggone divine! But how could any four-legged creature resist? In all seriousness, thanks for providing Hershey and me the finest. most complete pet care available . . . with a lot of love. I have seen a lot of vets in the past and your genuine love and care is truly rare."
    Jennifer & "Hershey"
  • "Thanks to the Drs and professional staff at Pets First Veterinary Center. I feel like you all truly love what you do! Every time I come in to see you, both me and my kitten have had such a pleasant experience. Everyone is so friendly and knowledgeable--I'm really impressed! Ever since I moved to San Antonio you have made me feel so welcome to the area and to your family."
    Jack & "Jill"
  • "Thanks Dr. Gonzales for your loving and professional care for our newest family member! We appreciate you and your staffs' genuine concern for all our pets for the past 10 years. We have always felt like we have been treated as part of the Pets First Veterinary Center family. Its so reassuring to know that we don't have to worry when we leave our dog for medical treatment or a boarding stay. Thank you so much!"
    The Johnson Family & "Magic"
  • "I think the world of Dr. Wright. Not only does she and team at Pets First Veterinary Center provide the best veterinary care possible, but also unmatched personal service and of course lots of love! I trust you with my most precious posessions...and refer all my friends and family to Pets First Veterinary Center.

    Thanks so much to all of you!"
    Maya, "Amor & Abrazo"