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Traveling with your pet?

Posted August 05, 2015 in Advice Column, Grimes, Johnston, Urbandale

Taking pets on vacation is a fun way to experience new things as a family.  It is important to consider several things before traveling with your pet.

First, not all pets enjoy a change of routine.  Most cats, and some dogs become very anxious when they are away from home and their normal routines.  If possible do a short trial run.  For some, finding a pet sitter or a boarding facility may be more comfortable for them.  During peak travel seasons, it may be hard to find care for your pets, so schedule with pet sitters or make boarding reservations early.

Secondly, consider the destination and method of travel planned.  Visits to relatives or camping trips may be very enjoyable and comfortable for pets.  If your planned activities require your pet to be left alone for long-periods of time, they may be happier at home.  Please remember it is not safe to leave pets unattended in vehicles during warm months and extremely cold times.

Make sure your pet is up to date on necessary vaccines and preventatives before you leave.  Get appropriate health certificates and carry proof of vaccination wherever you go.  Check with airlines about specific requirements.  Discuss your travels with your veterinarian.  They may recommend additional vaccines or products to help protect them when travelling to new areas.  Be sure to stock up on medications your pet takes.

Motion sickness can be a problem for some pets also.  There are medications, supplements, and essential oil options for pets who suffer from this uncomfortable problem.  It is best to start treatment prior to travelling, so ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Always carry a current picture of your pet, and make sure appropriate identification is with your pet.  Collars and tags are helpful in case your pet becomes lost.  Microchips are a great form of permanent identification, even if collars are lost.

If hotel stays are needed, pets should be comfortable in kennels, and they should not be left out alone.  It is important to check the pet policies at each area.  Not every place is pet friendly, so investigate before you leave.  Be a responsible pet owner by always keeping pets secured on a non-retractable leash, and keep plenty of waste bags handy to clean up after them.

Travelling with pets can be a fun experience.  Don’t forget plenty of food, water, bowls, toys, and bedding from home to top off your pet’s vacation experience.


Information provided by Kristin DeVries, DVM, Pet Medical Center, 4450 128th St., Urbandale, 515-331-9035

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