Charlie showing us the wrong (pictured left/top) and right (pictured right/bottom) way to travel.
Pets are part of the family and it is becoming more and more common for pets to travel along with their family. Pets are companions on short and long trips in every type of vehicle- cars, motorcycles, RVs, boats, and planes. I love how well our pets adapt to any situation, they do whatever it takes to be with their people. This month I wanted to go over some things to consider when traveling with their pet.
Of course, make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations, contact your veterinarian, additional vaccines may be necessary if your dog is traveling out of the Pacific Northwest. Lyme disease is an example, which is primarily a disease found in the Eastern part of the United States. Lyme disease is carried by ticks which brings up another important point, parasite control. Flea, tick and heartworm prevention are important when you travel to areas where exposure is possible.
Identification is so important if your pet is traveling. A microchip is a must for any pet that is traveling. I also like to have the pet’s name and owner’s phone number embroidered into their collar, so if they are found with their collar intact, it saves time and trouble of finding someone to read the microchip.
It isn’t a bad idea to travel with a first aid kit. There are a lot of recommendations online, but most human first aid kits have appropriate medical supplies. Additions to a standard first aid kit to make it pet-friendly would be: a soft muzzle to keep a painful pet from biting, a large blanket or towel to wrap an injured pet in and a list of veterinary emergency clinics in the areas you are traveling.
Safety when traveling is always important. We always wear our seatbelts, make sure your pet is restrained in the vehicle too. If they are in a carrier, make sure it is secured with the seat belt or some other fashion. If they are loose in the car, there are seat belts and restraining devices available. Just check out Amazon, there are a plethora of options. In Washington State, it is illegal to have an animal in the bed of a truck unsecured. I always cringe when I see a dog in the back of a pickup truck. It is a recipe for disaster. If you have to put your dog in the back, secure a large enough kennel in the bed of the truck. I have seen some horrific injuries in dogs that were loose, and worse on a lead and being drug besides the truck. Let your dog ride inside, he’ll be happier and safer. What’s a little dog hair and drool between friends?
Airline travel with pets is becoming more and more common. I’ve got a few hints to make things a little easier for you and your pet. When scheduling your flight, try to schedule when the weather is best, morning and evening in the warm months and mid-day in the cooler months. Check and see if the airline requires veterinary health certificates, you don’t want to get caught at the gate only to have to find the closest vet for an emergency certificate. The airlines prefer if your pet isn’t sedated, as it increases the risk of some medical complications. Many won’t even allow flat-nosed breeds (bulldogs, etc) in the cargo hold, due to their propensity to life-threatening overheating. If your pet is going to be in the cabin with you, bring supplies to clean up if there is an accident, including a bag that can be sealed to avoid sharing the odor with everyone else in the cabin. Finally, make sure there are multiple forms of identification on your pet and the carrier to decrease chances of mix up during the trip.
If you have any questions, comments or ideas for an article, contact me at [email protected] Check us out on Facebook and our website wildernessvet.com.
We’ve got one more day scheduled at the Farmers’ Market. September 9th, Seahawks Day! Stop by our booth and get a Seahawk bandana for your pet.