Roadtrippin’: Pet Travel Tips and Safety
Traveling with your pet can be a lot of fun, and with a healthy dose of thoughtful preparation, your pet will remain relaxed, happy, and safe while you’re both away. Destination, mode of transportation, and pet-friendly activities will greatly influence your agenda–and we are here to help.
To make the most of your trip together, follow our safe pet travel ZippiTips and how-to guide.
Your Game Plan
Traveling out of state, region, or country? One of the first things on your extensive travel to-do list is to come see us at ZippiVet animal hospital in Austin! We can prepare your pet to travel by:
- Updating all of his or her vaccines, and providing you with a required copy of your pet’s medical records. Your ZippiVet pet records are online for 24/7 access from anywhere.
- Placing a microchip in case your pet becomes lost or separated
- Making sure he or she is current on parasite prevention (especially if traveling to an area known for ticks and/or heartworm-infected mosquitoes)
- Filling necessary prescriptions
- Checking on general health and wellbeing
Depending on your destination, we can also assist you with your pet’s health certificate prior to your departure. Please come in at least a week before your travel.
When planning your trip, you’ll need to closely consider how you’re going to get there, and what your pet’s level of travel tolerance might be. Air travel can be pricey, certain size or weight restrictions may separate you from your pet, and your pet’s travel crate may be handled like cargo. Thus, the most popular choice for pet lovers is cruising down the road in the car.
Setting the cruise control isn’t the only thing you should remember during a roadtrip. Research your route and prepare before you leave to have a safe, happy journey.
Time pit stops approximately every two hours so that your pet can get out, exercise, eat, drink, and go to the bathroom. When you are stopping for meals, use your research to identify pet-friendly restaurants. Never leave your pet alone in your car during the summer months as triple-digit temperatures inside the vehicle can quickly lead to heatstroke symptoms.
Other pet travel safety ZippiTips for the car include:
- Offer your pet a small meal long before you set out, and provide a healthy dose of exercise to release any excess or anxious energy.
- Regularly offer fresh water to your traveling companion; dehydration is possible if he or she is stressed in the car.
- Your pet’s leash is imperative on your trip. Whenever you stop your car, ensure your pet is securely attached to your leash. In new places, you may find that your pet behaves unpredictably, and a previously mellow pet can run off when you least expect it.
- Keep a picture of your pet handy in case you need the help of others to find your pet.
- Attach a temporary tag to your pet’s collar that specifies where you are staying during your trip and have a list of veterinarians ready in case your pet needs emergency care away from home.
- Do not allow your pet to roam freely through the car; your pet should be harnessed with an appropriate pet seat belt, or crated and fastened with a seatbelt in the backseat.
- Please do not place your pet in an open truck bed.
- As tempting as it is to let your pet hang his or head out the window, you will protect your pet’s eyes, ears, and face from flying debris by keeping them inside the car.
- Your small dog may enjoy snuggling upfront with you during the trip, but airbags and slamming against the dash are dangerous in case of an accident.
Fun Pet Travel
Along with your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding, litter box and litter, preferred toys, grooming supplies, and pet first-aid kit, you must prepare for pet-friendly accommodations. Allow your pet to thoroughly inspect and sniff out the new digs and make sure he or she has whatever is needed for a cozy stay. If crate-trained, your pet can retreat there to feel safe and secure. In fact, crates are a great idea for having your pet with you in hotels or others’ homes.
Please let us know if you have any questions about pet travel. Happy trails!