Travelling with your pet this holiday weekend? Consider these tips to make the trip easy for the whole family, human and furry:
(1) Make sure it is safe for your pet to come on your trip — will there be appropriate accommodations at your destination? Will the travel arrangements be comfortable and safe for your pet? Does your pet do well travelling, or would he/she be happier at home with a pet sitter? Be especially careful when considering air travel with your pet–this can be dangerous, especially in summer months. When pets travel in cargo, they are exposed to extreme environmental conditions.
(2) Train your pet to be happy travelling — take time in the weeks (and months) leading up to your trip to work on using the carrier/crate for extended periods of time and in a variety of settings that mimic your trip. Be sure training sessions are low stress, full of fun treats/toys, and always end on a high note. This will be the most effective way to ensure a low stress journey on the day of travel!
(3) Plan ahead — make sure to bring enough of your pet’s normal food to last the entire trip, or be sure you can purchase the same food at your destination. Sudden diet changes can lead to an upset stomach and more stress for your pet. Don’t forget favorite blankets, toys, and a safe place for your pet to stay confined if need be (such as a large enough kennel or crate with good ventilation). Bring enough of any necessary prescriptions to last through the trip; if you will run out while away, request refills several days before travelling. Find out if you need any travel documents (vaccine certificates, health certificates) and schedule time to collect them a few days before your trip.
(4) Be prepared in case of emergency — look up veterinarians along your route and at your destination that are open 24 hours a day. Most areas have a local emergency service, or on call service, if needed. Make sure your pet is microchipped in case of escape, and keep your registration information up to date. Bring a recent photo of your pet.
(5) Prepare your car (or carry on bag) for your pet passenger(s) — bring food and water for the trip, comfortable bedding, a good toy (and for cats, think about catnip and calming pheromone sprays), and turn on child locks to prevent inadvertent escapes!
(6) If you have any specific concerns regarding your pet and travel, get in touch with your veterinarian (www.uptownvetsnyc.com) as early as possible. We’re happy to help you make a travel plan that works for your family, but some plans may take a few days to put in place.