Summer is the time of year when many people take their vacations. Whether leaving your pet in someone else’s care at home or taking them along for the ride, there are things you need to think about and plan ahead for.
In part one of this series, we’ll go over things to remember when taking your pet along with you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
If your pet is on a prescription medication, be sure to have enough for the length of your vacation plus a few days more in case of delays. If something should happen to the medication (it gets lost or forgotten), check with the prescriber to see if it can be called in to a human pharmacy or another veterinarian if needed.
If your pet is on a special food, be sure to bring enough along. Plan ahead and do some research as to where you can get more of it if you run out. If it is a prescription, ask your vet for a written prescription to bring along with you in case you need to get more while you are away.
Heartworm Preventives & Flea/Tick Topicals:
Heartworm medication requires a prescription. Make sure you have enough for the length of your vacation. In southern states, heartworm is becoming resistant to common heartworm preventive medications. An alternative medication may be necessary when traveling to these areas. Heartworm preventives are also recommended year round in some areas.
Fleas are common throughout the United States; worse in southern states. Tick species and populations vary by region. Some medications are formulated for certain species and may not cover ones in the region you are visiting.
It may be a good idea to call a veterinarian in the area you are visiting ahead of time to see what they commonly use or recommend for both heartworm preventives and flea/tick topicals.
There’s always a chance your pet may need medical care on your trip. It would be wise to research ahead of time to see where the closest emergency veterinarian is located and keep their contact information on hand. If your pet has a medical condition or allergies, it’s important to have some medical history along. Keep a copy of their vaccination records along, they may be required, especially when crossing any borders. Have your primary veterinarian’s contact information available as well in case you need information sent to or from them.
Traveling can be stressful on pets, whether by plane, car, train, etc. Get your pet acquainted with the car, its carrier, or any other enclosure it may be traveling in. Provide a blanket, stuffed animal, or other familiar item to comfort the pet. Some pets may even require medication, such as a sedative, to alleviate their anxieties. There are also options for anxiety relief such as a Thundershirt®.
Traveling by plane:
Check with the airline for requirements. Pets may require some or all of the following: updated vaccines, a Health Certificate, micro-chip, specific sized carrier, and maybe more.
Traveling Out of Country:
Check far in advance when making plans to travel with your pet out of the country. Some countries have strict requirements when exporting animals. They may need a Rabies titer, micro-chip, and/or quarantine. Each of these might need to be done within a certain time frame before export. Check with USDA on exporting pets.
What if your pet should become lost while you’re on vacation:
Contact your primary veterinarian so they know where the pet is lost and how to contact you. Make sure your personal information is up to date. Have your pet’s identification (collars, tags, etc.) on it at all times.
It’s a good idea to have your pet micro-chipped if you plan on traveling and also to keep your information updated with the micro-chip company as well.
Give us a call at 751-2753. Our staff would be happy to help you prepare for your upcoming vacation by answering your questions, addressing your concerns, or providing you with the information you need.