Summertime often means travel, and many pet owners wouldn’t dream of leaving their 4-legged family members at home. Extra preparation and precaution should go into every trip when you are bringing your pets along.

Some animals cannot handle travel due to age, illness, injury or temperament. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your pets are healthy enough for travel and up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Check with your vacation destination and transportation to see if a health certificate will be required. Make sure your pets are current on their parasite prevention. Both mosquitoes and ticks can transmit serious diseases.

If your pets are prone to becoming car sick or have anxiety issues, your veterinarian can prescribe necessary medication or supplements. Do not give your pets any over-the-counter or human medicines without first consulting with your veterinarian.

If your pets are not already microchipped, make an appointment with your veterinarian to get that done before departing. If your pets are already microchipped, check the registry to make sure your information is current.

Plan ahead. Not all hotels welcome pets, and most that do, do not allow pets to be left in rooms unattended. Also consider that pet-friendly restaurants may be hard to come by. Never plan to leave your pets unattended in your vehicle.

Airlines are subject to federal regulations, but most have their own policies. Make sure you understand the requirements and restrictions before heading to the airport. If you are travelling internationally, most countries have strict regulations regarding pet travel. Research your destination’s laws well in advance. Some countries accept a generic health certificate, but others require their own forms be completed by your veterinarian. And some countries will require quarantine for your pets upon arrival.

Create a checklist of everything your pet will need during your travels. This includes a carrier your pet fits into properly, a harness or collar with tags attached, leash, medical records, medications, portable water bowl, bottles of water, pee pads or litter box, pet food, toys, waste bags and recent photos.

Finally, always remember that we offer safe, climate-controlled boarding here at the Arlington Animal Hospital. Call us to make reservations for your pets’ stay while you are away.

Have a fun trip!
Dr. Bonnie