Are you planning a trip that includes your furry friends? There are increasingly more and more pet-friendly options for travelers so you don’t have to leave your companions behind! Here are some great tips that will help make your next trip with your pet go smoothly.

Pre-Trip Appointment and Identification

Be sure to schedule an appointment with Oxford Veterinary Hospital before your trip to make sure your pet is completely up to date on their vaccines and receives a clean bill of health. Talk to your veterinarian about health concerns specific to the location you’re traveling to. This may include Lyme disease and certain parasites that are more prevalent in other areas.

Your pet should wear a collar with identification and contact info while traveling. Microchipping your pet is another great way to ensure you will be reunited should something happen. Bring along any necessary paperwork, such as rabies vaccination records and copies of written prescriptions, you need in addition to all proper identification.

Call Ahead

While many destinations are dog-friendly, some are not. Be sure you have done your research and called ahead to ensure your furry friend is welcome. Some places may charge additional fees for pets, so this will be good information to know ahead as well.

Car Safety

It’s safest for your pet to ride in a crate or carrier while in the car. This protects the driver from distractions while keeping your pet safe and secure for any sudden stops or accidents. If your pet is riding in a crate, be sure to make frequent stops for bathroom breaks and never leave your pet inside the car because temperatures can rise and turn deadly in a matter of minutes.

If your pet gets carsick, you’ll want to prepare ahead of time to get them used to the vehicle. Take some practice runs in the car starting with short distances and slowly increasing them to build up a tolerance. Stressed animals are more prone to motion sickness, so make the environment as calm as possible and only feed your pet a small meal 2 to 3 hours before the trip. You can also talk to your veterinarian about remedies and a course of action to help soothe your pet’s tummy. Don’t forget to pack towels and other clean-up items – just in case!

Tips For Flying

Each airline has different, and very specific, rules about traveling with pets. Be sure to research with your airline prior to your trip to find out about requirements and restrictions. You will likely need to present a pet health certificate which can be provided by your veterinarian. Contact us to schedule an appointment prior to your trip.

Smaller animals that meet size and weight requirements may sometimes be allowed to travel in the cabin in airline-approved carriers. Larger pets must ride below in the cargo in an airline-approved crate. The kennel for riding in the cargo should be large enough for your pet to sit, stand, lie down, and turn around easily. Begin acclimating your pet to the crate far in advance of your trip by placing him inside for increasing amounts of time and keep the experience positive.

Travel Checklist

We’ve compiled a helpful packing list for your companion! These are things that will help make the trip a positive experience for you and your furry friend.

  • Collar with ID tags
  • Leash
  • Crate, safety harness, or other travel devices
  • Litter box or poop bags
  • Food, water, snacks, and food/water dishes
  • Vaccination records (*especially rabies certificate!)
  • Medications and copies of written prescriptions
  • Familiar toys or blankets to provide comfort
  • First aid kit and cleaning supplies
  • List of veterinary offices and emergency animal hospitals at your destination

Please contact Oxford Veterinary Hospital today to set up your pre-travel appointment!

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