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Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

People often wish to include their pets when traveling. Taking your pet with you on a trip may be fun, but it may also be challenging if not carefully planned. Each summer, the American College of Veterinary Pharmacists provides these important guidelines for pet owners to assist them in making a trip with a pet a pleasurable one.

  • Check with your veterinarian to make sure that your pet is healthy and able to travel.
  • Discuss with your veterinarian any medications your pet may need on the trip, for example to calm their nerves or control diarrhea.
  • Be sure your pet is wearing a collar with complete identification.
  • Pack water, food, bowls, and bedding for your pet. Always have water available. A cat will also require a litter pan and litter.
  • You should stop every few hours to allow the pet to eat, drink and eliminate.
  • Do not leave your pet alone in the car or any other vehicle, even if the windows are down. In the summer, a car can reach 120 degrees F in just 3 minutes.
  • Withhold food from your pet for 4 – 6 hours prior to leaving, especially if there is a tendency for car sickness.
  • Attach a leash to your pet’s collar before you open the car door. You may also need a pet carrier.
  • Bring along some of your pet’s favorite toys.
  • Do not let your pet hang its head out of the window. This is dangerous to the pet and could cause trauma to the eyes.
  • Check with the motel or hotel about accommodations and rules for pets.
  • Check with your veterinarian if you will be traveling to another country to see if there are special requirements or animal health forms to be obtained.