Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

Cats, Dogs, Travel

More people are traveling by car this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are bringing your pet with you, planning ahead will make the adventure safe and enjoyable for your furry family member.

Pet Travel Tips from your Veterinarian

  1. If traveling by car we do recommend putting your pet in a crate. This is a safer option and more comfortable for your pet especially if they are already crate trained. Bring a few toys but don’t crowd the crate with them.
  2. Make sure you bring along the correct paperwork. You should have an up-to-date copy of your pet’s rabies/vaccine certificates. Research where you are going to find out if a health certificate signed by an accredited veterinarian is needed. If you are flying, be certain to know all the requirements for that airline and your destination. Some states such as Hawaii have very specific requirements.
  3. Take precautions to make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an up-to-date identification tag. Your cat should be wearing a breakaway collar with this information. The best identifying measure you can take would be to have your pet microchipped. Also ensure that your information online is up-to-date with your microchip company.
  4. Your pet may be anxious in the car or a new place. We would recommend feeding less on travel days, possibly even skipping their morning meal to prevent any stress diarrhea. Don’t starve them, just keep their meals light. Make sure you offer water frequently during the trip to prevent dehydration. You may want to feed more canned than dry food due to the increased water content in canned food. This may help with hydration also.
  5. If you do expect your pet will be stressed or anxious during the trip, mild sedatives or anti-anxiety medication may be prescribed. You can often use over-the-counter products such as Dramamine but consult with a veterinarian before using any over-the-counter medications.

Additional Advice for Traveling with Dogs or Cats

  • Do your research and stay in pet friendly hotels, Airbnbs, etc.
  • Never leave your pet alone in the car.
  • When you get to your destination try to make them comfortable with their own crate, sleeping beds, blankets and toys from home.
  • Keep their diet the same if possible.
  • The best option may sometimes be to not bring your pet at all. If your vacation includes going to amusement parks, museums, etc. for much of the trip you should consider a reliable pet sitter or boarding kennel.

Traveling with your pet requires planning and research, but it will make the trip safe and comfortable for everyone! Give us a call with any questions about your pet’s needs.

– Dr. Anne Hicks

Essex Middle River Veterinary Center provides medical and surgical care for cats and dogs at our animal hospital and veterinary clinic in Essex, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. Our services include preventive wellness care exams, vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care. Our state-of-the-art veterinary offices are conveniently located near I-695 where we see pets from Towson, Honeygo, White Marsh, and other neighboring Baltimore areas.

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