All Creatures Veterinary Hospital

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital
4549 HW 62 West
Mountain Home, AR 72653
(870) 425-5175

Traveling With Your Pet

Planning and preparation are necessary when traveling with family pets. Consider whether your pet is comfortable when traveling. Some animals, like people, function better in familiar surroundings. A carsick animal can make a trip miserable for everyone. Some ill or physically impaired pets cannot withstand the rigors of travel. If this is the case, consider options such as using a reliable pet-sitter or a boarding facility.

Find out ahead or time whether the place where you will be staying allows pets or has kennel facilities. Consider bringing along a portable kennel for use in hotel rooms or the homes of friends or relatives. Be sure your pet is properly identified with a current tag or microchip. Grooming before travel and having a pet's favorite food, toys, and dishes available will make your pet more comfortable. Having proof of rabies vaccination and a current health certificate with you when crossing state and international borders may be required. Before going on any trip, consult your veterinarian to be sure that all required vaccinations are up-to-date and to receive a health certificate within ten days of travel.

Air Travel

Federal regulations require that pets be at least 8 weeks old and weaned at least 5 days prior to flying. Generally a health certificate (no older than 10 days) is required. A valid rabies certificate is also required. Contact the airline in advance for specific regulations and to secure your pet's reservation. Try to book a non-stop, mid-week flight and avoid plane changes if possible. Try not to fly pets during very hot or very cold weather. The airlines are generally not responsible for the pet's safety, so use common sense about the weather. Arrive at the airport early, exercise your pet, personally place it in its crate, and pick him/her up promptly on arrival. Air travel on an empty stomach is usually recommended unless specific feeding schedules are necessary.

Air transport crates must:

(1) Be large enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around and lie down.
(2) Be strong and free of interior protrusions, with handles or grips.
(3) Have a leak proof bottom that is covered with plenty of absorbent material.
(4) Be purchased in advance so the pet can become acclimated to the crate prior to travel.
(5) Be appropriately and clearly labeled. Include name, address, phone number, and destination, as well as a designation of 'Live Animal' with arrows indicating the crate's upright position.
(6) Be ventilated on opposite sides so airflow is adequate.

Travel by Car

If your pet is not accustomed to car travel, take him/her for a few short rides before your trip. If your pet suffers from carsickness, talk to your veterinarian about medication that may be available to ease the problem. It is recommended that the pet be confined to a cage or crate while driving to allow him/her to feel secure and to avoid having a pet injured while driving. Stick to your regular feeding routine, and give the main meal at the end of the day or at the end of the destination. Take along a plastic jug of water in case other reliable water sources are not available. Plan to stop every two hours for walking and exercise if possible. Remember to bring a leash. Pets should not be allowed to ride with their heads outside car windows. Particles can fly up into the eyes, ears and nose, causing injury. If you must leave a pet in a parked car, be sure to lock all the doors, park in a shady area, and open the windows wide enough to provide proper ventilation, without allowing the pet to jump out or get caught. Be aware of weather conditions. You should never leave your pet in a parked car if the temperature and/or humidity are high or when temperatures are near or below freezing.

If you follow these simple guidelines, traveling with your pet can be a safe and enjoyable experience. If you have questions regarding traveling with your pet, call our office at (870) 425-5175. Bon Voyage!