Tips for a Safe and Sound Travel Experience With Your Pet
Traveling with your pet can be stressful, depending on where you are headed there can be a lot of variables involved that need to match your timeline and must plan accordingly. This article will discuss some tips for basic travel and will provide resources for other outstanding questions.
The first step when planning on traveling with your pet is to make sure that this it is a good idea. Leaving your pet home is difficult but it may be the best case scenario depending on your pet. Some pets may not be able to travel due to illness, injury, temperament, or age and you don’t want to add more stress by traveling with them. If this is the case then be sure to make arrangements for them with a pet sitter, boarding kennel, or talk to your veterinarian about boarding with them.
If you do decide to travel with your pet make sure that your pet has proper identification in the case that they become lost. Your pet should have an up to date ID tag on their collar and microchipping your pet using up to date contact information will provide permanent identification for your pet and will significantly improve your chances of finding one another again. It is also important to make sure that your pet is welcome at your final destination and any stops you make along the way. Make sure to check in advance with your accommodations and stay at pet friendly places.
If you are crossing state lines when traveling you will need a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) also known as a health certificate. This certificate is important as the regulations followed ensure that people, animals, and ecosystems are protected from dangerous diseases, pests, and destructive animals. You will need to make an appointment with your veterinarian 10 days before your departure date for an examination to make sure that your pet does not have signs of infectious diseases and that they have certain vaccinations, tests, treatment, or other procedures that are required by your final destination location. This certificate can only be administered after a veterinary exam and giving your pet the okay to travel. If you are traveling internationally this will require the USDA endorsement certificate. For more information please visit the American Veterinary Medical Association resources:
- Traveling With Your Pet FAQ
- Animal Travel and Transport
- Transporting Animals: Basic Requirements and Considerations
- Basic Timeline for Interstate and International Travel With Animals
When planning your trip be sure to locate the nearest veterinarian in case of an emergency on the way to or at your final destination. Please utilize online veterinary clinic locators including the American Hospital Association search and the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society’s emergency clinic directory.
When packing for your trip be sure to take a recent photo of your pet on your phone or a physical copy to have with your just in case your pet becomes lost. It is also important to take your pet’s medication with you and any preventatives such as heartworm, flea, and tick medications as well.
When traveling be sure to bring an appropriately sized restraint and carrier. An appropriately sized restraint means that your pet will not be tossed around inside in case there is a sudden stop or an accident. It is also important that your pet is comfortable with the restraint you bring on your trip beforehand. Traveling is very stressful, and you and your pet do not need the additional aggravation if they are not used to their restraints.
When on your way to your destination be sure to make frequent stops along the way so your pet can go to the bathroom and walk around. When stopped give your pet water and food if it is their normal feeding time.
It is important to take note of these recommendations and additional information from the additional resources listed above to ensure that you and your pet have a safe and relaxing trip. We hope you and your pet have a lovely time!