Dog wellness checkup before traveling.

Got cabin fever? If you’re eager for new surroundings and pet-friendly family adventures, a little pre-planning can make traveling with your pet safer—and far more enjoyable. If it’s been a while since your pet’s last wellness and preventive care visit, a checkup may be in order to ensure that your pet is sufficiently protected from communicable diseases as well as fleas, ticks, and other parasites that he or she may encounter in a new environment.

Whether you intend to load up the RV, jam-pack a Prius or fly the friendly skies, here are some tips for safe pet travel from the team at Parkside Animal Hospital.

Road Trips

What’s a family road trip without the family dog? Many dogs thoroughly enjoy short drives. But if this is the first long journey you’ll be taking with your dog (or cat!) here are some things to keep in mind:

  • For everyone’s safety, your pet needs to be restrained. A pet roaming free in the car can create significant distractions. A carrier anchored to the back seat, or a seat belt restraint for larger dogs, is your best option.
  • NEVER leave a pet alone in a parked car. Even with the windows cracked, on a 29-degree day, the temperature inside your car can soar to 39 degrees in 10 minutes.
  • Plan ahead on your route for potty breaks and exercise time.
  • Consider having your pet microchipped, and make sure he or she wears a collar with an ID tag.
  • Don’t forget medications, proof of vaccinations, and bring along your pet’s food. You may even consider bringing your own water for your pet. 

Traveling with Pets on Airlines

If you are traveling with your pet by air, it’s critical to contact the airline directly regarding their pet policy as soon as you begin planning your trip. Rules vary from airline to airline—and even by destination. Here are other tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep your pet in the cabin with you if possible.
  • Check your airline’s vaccination and documentation requirements, and contact us if we can help. 
  • Make sure your pet’s carrier meets airline requirements.
  • Air travel can be dangerous for certain breeds with short nasal passages, including bulldogs, pugs, and Persian cats. Your veterinarian at Parkside Animal Hospital can help you understand the risks.

Wherever you travel with your pet, be aware of nearby veterinary hospitals in the unlikely event that your pet gets ill or injured while on vacation. It’s always best to be prepared!

The team at Parkside Animal Hospital wants you and your pets to enjoy summer vacation! Contact us if you have any questions about safe pet travel.