Tips for Flying With A Pet Safely

Tips for Flying With A Pet Safely

Traveling with your pet is not easy. If your dog or cat is old, sick, or unfit for travel, consider leaving him or her at a pet hotel or a pet sitter. If you’re traveling with a pet, be sure to follow these travel safety tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Tips for Flying With A Pet Safely
Tips for Flying With A Pet Safely

Consider whether traveling is safe for your pet.

Before taking pets on an extended vacation trip, consider whether they are suitable for the task. If your pet is old, sick, or doesn’t tolerate travel well, consider leaving it at a pet hotel, boarding kennel, or pet sitter.

Update the correct ID tag for your pet.

Whether you’re traveling by car, train or plane, make sure your dog or cat is wearing the correct identification tag at all times. Pet labels should include up-to-date information, including name, address, and vaccinations.

Keep your pet’s current medication with you.

Don’t forget to bring your pet’s current medications, including any preventatives such as heartworm, flea and tick prescriptions.

Make a list of vets in the area you’ll visit.

Before you travel, prepare a list of veterinarians and 24-hour veterinary clinics near where you live. This information is useful in an emergency.

Do not use sedatives before a flight.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pets should not be sedated when traveling by air — it increases the risk of heart and respiratory problems while flying. Dogs and cats with short noses are more likely to have breathing problems when traveling.

Bring water from home.

When traveling, bring bottled or tap water from home. Drinking water from places your pet is not used to can cause stomach upset.

Keep pets in the car.

When traveling by car, be sure to keep your cat in a cage or an obstacle, and be sure to secure the obstacle with a harness. Most cats are not used to traveling by car, and they won’t get well if they’re not restrained.

Keep your dog in a crate, travel safety bed or harness and never let them stick their heads out the window. Foreign objects can get into the eyes, ears, and nose and cause infection.

Consider microchipping your pet.

Consider getting a microchip implanted before your trip. If lost en route, microchips can improve the chances of finding a pet. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure to program it with up-to-date contact information (including a mobile number) before traveling.

Help your pet get used to the crate.

When traveling, your pet will spend more time than ever in the crate. In the days leading up to your trip, allow your pet some time in the cage to get used to it.

Limit meals before long trips.

Limit meals before long journeys, including flights. Pets should travel on an almost empty stomach to avoid accidents and prevent stomach upsets.

Board the plane last, if possible.

When traveling by air, if your dog or cat will be accommodated in the cabin, wait until the last minute to board. This reduces the time your pet spends alone.

Get a health certificate.

If you cross state lines, you will need a current veterinary (health) certificate. This form must be completed by a veterinarian within 10 days of travel.

Find a pet-friendly hotel.

Please check with your hotel before traveling as some hotels only accept small dogs or dogs below a certain weight limit. If you leave pets in your hotel room, try to minimize the time they spend in the room unsupervised. When you leave the hotel, please inform the front desk that your pet is alone in the room and leave a do not disturb sign on the door. When you notify the reception, please let them know how to contact you in an emergency.

When driving, stop often.

If you take your dog on a long car trip, you should stop at least every two hours for restroom breaks and exercise breaks.

Never leave pets alone in the vehicle.

Do not leave your pet alone in the vehicle. If you leave your pet alone in the house, even briefly, it can be dangerous. There is always someone to accompany you.

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