We hope to touch base on a few important tips for traveling with pets!
The number one question we get, concerns that of Sedation. We never sedate pets when flying, that is a simple fact. However, when driving, many feel this is a safe time to offer their beloved pet a little happy pill.
Please consider the options of why you want to administer the drug to your pet. Is it to make your pet's way of traveling better or yours? A lot of times we try to help our pets but really do them a disservice. If it is just the barking and crying that is hard to listen to in a car, you should think twice before giving your pet any pills. After the first hour or so, they are likely to settle down and go to sleep (he won't be able to be crying for 9 straight hours!). However, if your cat seems seriously distressed and frightened, then it may help to look into a sedative. One of your options would be a natural sedative that would calm him a bit. I encourage you to discuss this with your vet -- for ultimately it is your vet's decision to whether he should prescribe a sedative or not.
If you do end up sedating your pet for travel, make sure you keep an eye on them throughout the trip. There is a chance he could throw up due to having an upset stomach and, because of his drowsy state, accidentally choke.
We have discussed this before on our blog, actually last Labor Day, but wanted to go over a few of the main points with you again:
Securing Your Pet! Just as it is necessary to make sure your fellow passengers are buckled up when driving, its just as important to make sure your pets are secure when you take them with you! There are different ways to do this, such as including a pet crate, a dog harness connected to a seat belt, or a divider to keep your pet in the cargo area of your SUV or Minivan.
Please note, that even if your dog is secured in a car harness, try and make sure that their head remains inside the car. Many times, we simply do not take into account the fact that debris can strike your dogs head or eyes causing severe injuries.
However you secure your pets, always take them with you when you park - never leave them in the car. Especially in the summer months, as a car can easily get up to 120+ degrees.
Carry ID and Health Documents for your pets! When traveling with your pets, we recommend carrying your pets' health and rabies certificates. This is not only a requirement when crossing state lines - but it will also help in the case of your dog biting another person or pet. Many of us think this will never happen, however if it does and your at a strange park or in another city - you do not want the Animal Control office to impound your dog because of the Rabies Fear. It is their job to do this until they can prove otherwise - so be prepared just in case.
If traveling overnight with your pets, please make sure you have checked in advance that the location your going to will allow your pets. Do not assume they do, as many times with the crowds of the Holidays - they will not.
Safe travels and enjoy the weekend!