4473 Barton Orleans Road Orleans, VT 05860 802-754-2228

Traveling with a Pet

Tips for Safe Travel

If you plan on taking your dog or cat along on vacation, a weekend getaway or summer traveling, here are a few things to remember:

  • Bring food and water from home. The last thing you want is digestive problems when you’re on the road. You might bring your pet’s regular dishes, or there are convenient travel dishes available at many pet supply stores.
  • Attach name tags to your pet. If your pet already has a name tag, make sure the information is up-to-date and readable.
  • Pack a lead and tie out. For your pet’s safety when traveling, attach the lead before you open the door for him/ her to get out. Having an extra one is also a good idea!
  • Bring toys. To keep your pet from becoming bored, be sure to bring his favorite toys. It will help a great deal to keep him occupied by having balls to fetch outside and bones to chew on in the car.
  • Pack a first aid kit for your pet. It’s always a good idea to have one handy, just in case!
  • Provide plenty of exercise before you leave and at stops along the way. This will help your pet relax and enjoy the trip, and it’ll do the same for the humans that are traveling!
  • Clean up after your pet. To keep the great outdoors great and out of consideration for others, make sure you have a supply of waste bags easily available when you need them.
  • Pets travel more easily on an empty stomach. Car sickness is more likely if your pet has a full stomach. If the trip is long, feed smaller amounts than normal at least two hours before you leave, with very small, easily digestible snacks during rest stops.
  • Restrain your pet during travel. The safest way for you to travel with your pet is to use a pet harness, pet seat, wire crate or other similar comfortable device. When using a crate or other restraint, be sure to include a favorite pillow or towel for comfort.
  • Bring your pet’s health record and vaccination record with you. Be sure to include the rabies certificate and keep all paperwork secure in an envelope.
  • Bring any medications your pet is taking. Be sure to bring an ample supply in case your trip is inadvertently lengthened for any unforeseen reason.
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a car.  Pets are unable to control body temperature as efficiently as humans. During the summer, even if you park in the shade, just a few minutes in a hot car can cause irreversible damage or death. To keep your pet cool on the road, consider a car window shade or other similar device for a cool, safe, refreshing journey. During the winter, a car can quickly turn into a freezer, again causing irreversible damage or death. Make the best decision for your furry family member if he/she cannot stay by your side -- leave him /her safely at home or at a reliable day care or overnight kennel.

Safe and Happy Travels!

(Adapted from Drs. Foster & Smith, www.drsfostersmith.com)

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