Summer is peak vacation time, and many of us are in the midst of firming up our travel plans. Whether you’re taking a cross country drive or jetting off to a far away land, taking your pet along for the adventure is a big undertaking that takes a lot of preparation. That’s why the team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital has compiled some pro tips for traveling with pets.

Planning Tips for Traveling with Pets

There are many factors that come into play when deciding whether or not to travel with your pet.

  • Is your pet comfortable with travel? Some animals love riding in a car or don’t mind being crated for a plane ride, but others may get anxious and fearful. Spend some time acclimating your pet to their travel arrangements before you head out.
  • Flying within the continental U.S. requires a health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination. The certificate must be issued by a USDA-approved veterinarian within 10 days of travel.
  • If flying to Hawaii, start the process six months ahead of time. Hawaii is rabies-free and has a series of strict guidelines that must be timed precisely to avoid a 120-day quarantine upon arrival. Give us a call to schedule your appointment.
  • Many airlines have added new restrictions regarding brachycephalic breeds and cats, as well as traveling during seasonal weather extremes. Call your airline early to understand any restrictions.
  • Many pet-friendly establishments require proof of vaccination prior to a pet’s arrival. Make sure vaccines are up-to-date and that you carry your pet’s vaccine records with you when traveling.
  • Plan your itinerary by making sure all your stops include pet-friendly lodging. If staying with friends, talk about house rules and any other considerations that may be necessary.
  • In addition to your pet’s collar and ID tags, microchipping is the best way to ensure a happy reunion with your pet should you become separated. If your pet is already microchipped, double check that your contact information is up-to-date.

Packing Up

A few creature comforts from home will help make your pet’s trip a success. Put these items on your travel checklist:  

  • Leash, collar, and harness (and a safety belt if traveling by car)
  • Crate or bed
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Food, water, and medications
  • Health certificates and vaccine records
  • Favorite toys and treats
  • Litter and litter box

Last Steps

Lastly, when planning for your trip, research nearby veterinary emergency clinics and program their contact information into your phone. You don’t want to be caught unprepared in the event of an emergency. Also keep in mind that pets may be more curious in a new place, so make sure that all medications and foods that could be toxic to pets remain safely out of reach.

With these pro tips, you’ll soon be on your way to a fun and safe experience traveling with pets. Please give us a call with any questions or concerns!