Pet Travel Safety Tips

By Jessie Rayburn, CVT

National Pet Travel Safety Day was on January 2nd! Here are some helpful hints:

Don’t forget to pack for your pet too!

  • Have extra pet food and water as well as bowls.
  • If traveling with a feline friend, provide a litter box in their carrier.
  • Compile a small first aid kit in case of emergencies.
  • Bring toys to provide entertainment (a bored pet can be just as bad as a bored child)!
  • Have a non-retractable leash to ensure optimal control over your dog’s movements when outside the vehicle.
  • Your four-legged traveling companion may get car sick or have an accident; remember to bring some cleaning supplies just in case.

Some pets may need to make frequent bathroom breaks!

  • Make sure you are stopping often enough for your pet so they can go to the bathroom and get a chance to stretch their legs. A short walk goes a long way!
  • If traveling with a feline, try taking the carrier with the litter box out of the car and find a quiet spot. Some cats may not use the litter box in a moving vehicle.
  • If you plan to enter a rest stop, do not leave your pet in the vehicle unattended. If possible, see which stops are nearby and read their regulations. Some rest stops will allow animals inside!

Long distance travel considerations:

  • Double check your dog has all their tags in place. They should have a license, rabies tag, and identification in case of separation. It is also helpful to have your name and phone number on the back of their name tag.
  • Microchipping is the best method to ensure your dog finds their way back to you. Have your pet chipped before you leave-it only takes a few minutes. (If already chipped, have your pet scanned just to make sure the chip is in place.)
  • Consider a harness for those pets not riding in a carrier. They should not become a distraction while driving.
  • Ask your vet if your destination has any specific hazards to keep in mind during your stay away from home.
  • Your pet should be up to date on their vaccines and preventatives.
  • Research your destination. You may need specific documents to allow your pet to travel with you.
  • For airplane travel, check the airline requirements. You may need a specific carrier or crate. This carrier will be your pet’s room for the duration of the flight so put special care in the set up. (Food, water, toy, litter pan if needed, and enough space to stand, laydown, or turnaround.)
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