While on my family vacation, I could not help notice all the pets enjoying vacations with their families!
According to the U.S. Travel Association, there has been an upward trend of of Americans vacationing with their pets. More and more hotels, restaurants, camp grounds, and resorts have accommodations for pets. This makes it easier for families to travel with their pets instead of having to find a relative to watch them or put them into a boarding facility.
But before you pack up your “furry friend” for the road trip, you must do some research. First, where you are planning on staying: will that facility accept pets? What size? Any restrictions? Most of this information can be easily found on the AAA website or your destination website.
If your travel takes longer then one day, are there accommodations along the way that will accept pets? It is very important to research this BEFORE you leave your home. Some facilities require proof of vaccines, is your pet current? Have you packed the documents to prove it?
Don’t forget to pack your pet’s medications! Make sure you pack them in an easily accessible place so you don’t forget to give them to your pet while you are traveling. This would include flea and heart worm preventative medications. Always take more medication with you, just in case.
Another consideration regarding traveling with your pet is how accustomed is he or she to travel? Are they used to being in a car or RV for extended periods of time? Have they traveled on a plane before? It would be wise to take the necessary steps PRIOR to your travels to get your pet comfortable with the mode of travel. For example, short frequent trips in a car may help your pet acclimate to being in the car for the longer trips. For airplane rides, it would be advisable to contact your veterinarian for their advice on a sedative, if you own a nervous or anxious pet.
Traveling by car or RV, make sure you plan on frequent stops to stretch, play and have potty time. Pack fresh water and food for your pet, so they can snack too during your travels.
If traveling to Canada, you must have a current health certificate from your veterinarian as well as a rabies certificate. Some airlines also require health certificates. Again, do your research ahead of time so that as your vacation day departure comes near you and your pet are ready!
Last, remember to have your pet wear a well-fitting collar with your current contact number in case you get separated from them. A cell phone number is best. Having your pet micro-chipped and registered well in advance is also advised.
From “the other side of the Exam Table”
Dr. Gloria Williams