Tips for Traveling with Pets

A medium white and black dog sitting contently in the back sear of a car, wearing a doggy seatbelt, one ear up, happy to go for a ride.Many of us would never dream of leaving home without our pets when taking a trip. The open road or open skies, if you need to travel by air, can be a fun and enjoyable experience. All it takes is a little planning. But, what exactly do you need to do before embarking on such an excursion with your furry friend?

Your team at The Maywood Veterinary Clinic has packed up some tips for traveling with pets, to get you safely (and sanely) on the road.

Early Planning for Traveling with Pets

Planning ahead is the key to a great trip with your pet. Here are some top considerations before you walk out the door!

Research transportation and lodging options. Make sure you know any requirements for travel with your pet, and any restrictions your lodging or accommodations might have.

Make an appointment with the vet. Make an appointment with us to discuss your pet’s health needs before traveling. We’ll want to make sure their vaccinations and parasite preventives are up to date. This is really important, especially if you’ll be traveling to a new climate or state, as we see different health threats elsewhere than we have here in New Jersey.

And, it’s the ideal time to make sure your pet is microchipped, or to confirm that your contact information is current with the microchip company.

Pack for both comfort and safety. You wouldn’t leave your favorite creature comforts behind while traveling, and neither should your pet! Whether you’re flying or driving, here are a few items to pack for safety and style.

  • Collar, tags, and leashes
  • Your pet’s bed
  • Food and water dishes
  • Toys and favorite treats
  • Vaccination records
  • Health certificate
  • A basic pet first aid kit
  • A copy of their prescriptions (as well as the medications)
  • Waste baggies
  • A sweater or jacket (if traveling to colder climates)
  • A recent picture of you with your pet (if your pet goes missing)

Pet Jet Setters

If you will be flying with your pet, it will be best if they can fly under the seat in their carrier. If they are too big to fit, they will need to travel in the cargo hold. If your pet must fly as cargo, talk to us as soon as possible, so we can discuss your pet’s safety or arrange boarding options.

Here are some of our best tips for the jet set.

  • Book a direct flight. This reduces some stress and anxiety and reduces the chance that your pet will be left waiting on the tarmac in inclement or hot weather during a layover.
  • Purchase a USDA approved carrier or crate. Make sure your pet can comfortably stand, lie down, and turn around inside the crate. Leave it latched but unlocked, so that the airline personnel can open it in an emergency. Mark it carefully and clearly with your pet’s name, destination, and your contact information.
  • Come see us. All airlines require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) for pet travel. We can help you with this documentation. We can also make sure you have medications and prescription diets ordered in advance and ready for your trip.
  • Make friends with airline personnel. We’re not joking! Letting the crew know you’re traveling with your pet can help them make accommodations and be ready if assistance or special attention is needed.

Pet Roadtrippers

Many pets love riding in the car or RV, and traveling by road with them can be fun and a great adventure! Here are our tips for traveling with your pet on the open road.

  • Safety first. Your pet should travel in a carrier or crate to ensure their safety. And, remember to never, ever leave your pet alone in the car, even if it seems cool.
  • Stop and smell the roses. Research your route to find pet-friendly places, hiking trails, parks, and the like.
  • Something new. Keep your pet entertained and happy while in the car by bringing along a few new or novel toys to give them along the way.

If you have any questions about traveling with pets or need to make a pre-travel appointment, give us a call at (201) 800-6039. We’re happy to help you ensure a fun and safe trip before you hit the road.