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Preparing for Your Trip

When traveling, many people like to bring along their pets. The end results can often times be an enjoyable experience. However, without proper planning, it could potentially turn into a nightmare.

As travelers, we need to plan our trips in three parts; preparation, the trip itself, and what we’ll do when we get to our destination.

In preparation for the trip with your pet, we first need to consider if the pet is up to it. Many older or ill animals don’t travel well. They may be better off at a boarding facility, a veterinary practice with boarding facilities or even at home utilizing a pet sitter service. Assuming that your pet is up to the trip, a visit to your veterinarian within a week or ten days of your trip is a great idea. They can advise you of any physical problems, check that all vaccinations are current, provide you with a health certificate and medical records, and make sure that your pet has an adequate supply of preventatives and medications, if they are taking any. At this time let me point out that it is not advisable to use sedatives or tranquilizers, they can interfere with your pets balance and equilibrium that may pose a problem with their ability to brace and support themselves in a carrier, as well as the effect they may have on their circulatory system.

Your pet should have identification like a collar (not a choke collar) with ID and rabies tags, and possibly a microchip. You should use and/or bring along an appropriately sized carrier for use during your trip and at your destination. Make sure the carrier is also marked with your phone number. Bring along the pet’s regular food. The use of familiar items like their usual food and water bowls, toys, bedding, and litter pans may also make your pet more comfortable. If your pet suffers from motion sickness some Dramamine or Meclizine, may help. Of course, these medications should only be used after you have consulted with your veterinarian.

Once at your destination, remember where you are ( i.e. – not at home). Try and understand that you’ll probably be a guest at someone’s home or at a hotel. Always have your pet on a leash, or in its carrier when you are out and about. Place “Do not disturb signs” on hotel room doors when you leave pets in the room. Try to make it a pleasant experience for everyone, you, your pet, and especially your hosts, so that the next time you or any traveler goes somewhere with their pet it will be greeted with a smile and not a frown.


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