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Chris' Pet Tips

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What to bring

Food and water

Where to stay







Many people like to travel with their pets. Following some guidelines can help make this an enjoyable experience for both you and your pet. If your pet does not enjoy traveling, always keep in mind that a pet sitter could be your best option!


what to bring

While preparing for your trip, make sure you include some of your pet's favorite toys, food and water bowls, a leash, and food. It is also a good idea to carry a first aid kit for your pet, and understand basic pet first aid. If your pet is on medication, be sure to bring as much as your pet needs, then add extra.  Most people do not realize that a veterinarian can not prescribe medicine for your pet unless he or she has a doctor-patient relationship with the pet. This could pose a large inconvenience to your pet needs the medicine. The same holds true for prescription pet foods.  They may not always be available where you are traveling, so plan ahead. Bring along your veterinarian's phone number in case of an emergency. And, be sure to get a copy of your pet's medical records, especially if the animal has a long medical history. It is not always mandatory, but always a good idea to have a health certificate and your pets vaccination history available as well.


food and water

Dry food is definitely easier to deal with while traveling, if your pet is accustomed to it. Canned food needs to be refrigerated if there is leftover in the can. Try to feed your pet his main meal at the end of the day if he is a once a day eater, to avoid car sickness, but keep your pet on his regular schedule. Bring a large jug of cold water from home. This can help avoid stomach aches from different bacteria in the water in a new area, which you pet will have to adjust to. Plan to stop every two hours for exercise.


where to stay

Find hotels, motels, and campsites along the way that accept animals and reserve them ahead of time. 

Do research on the area you will be visiting. Speak to your veterinarian ahead of time and find out if these areas are prone to any diseases like heartworm or Lyme disease. Ask him or her if there are any special  vaccinations or medications your pet may need prior to your trip, and when you return , have your pet checked for parasites. Be aware of any unique laws where you are traveling. Some places have restrictions on exotic animals (ferrets), and some cities restrict the breeds that are allowed (pit bulls)  Call ahead to the city or travel information bureau for details.



Make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag, in the minimum.  Since tags fall off, consider having your pet tattooed or microchiped  The more ways to identify your pet, the better the chance that the you will be found if your pet gets lost. Microchip databases are specific to the United States and Canada, so be sure to register  in both countries if you will be driving from one to the other. You may also register a close friend or relative, in case you cannot be contacted when your pet is found.



If your pet is not used to riding in the car, take him for a few short rides before the trip. This will help keep him from becoming nervous, and may reduce the chance of him getting motion sickness. 

Buckle up! Not only for you and your pets safety, but many places require that pets be restrained while in a moving vehicle. They help protect your pet in case of a accident, and they keep pets from jumping all over the car and distracting the driver. They also keep pets from jumping through an open window or door. Cats and small dogs are often happier in pet carriers. They give your pet a sense of security and familiar surroundings, and can be secured with a seat belt. Also consider harnesses, pet car seats, barriers, and pickup restraint systems. IT IS UNSAFE TO PUT YOUR PET IN THE BACK OF A PICKUP TRUCK! Avoid letting your pet ride with his head outside the car. Dirt can penetrate the eyes, ears, and nose and cause injury or infection. Cold air taken into lungs can also cause illness.



 If you choose to take your pet on an airplane, and he is too large to be brought on as carry on, he must be checked as "baggage". In the hold of an airplane, your pet is subject to the extremes of heat and cold, which can become further complicated if the animal misses a connecting flight or the plane becomes delayed. Due to problems in the past, many airlines will not ship pets during very hit months, and some will not carry pets in baggage at all.  If you must have your pet travel by air, "cargo" shipping may be a wiser choice. Cargo shipments are scheduled in advance by professionals who have experience in providing a suitable environment for your pet.  Be sure you examine their credentials carefully to be sure that they are experienced in handling animals.

You should discuss with your veterinarian the pros and cons of sedation while flying. Although the pet may be less nervous, there are some negatives as well.

Pet owners should be aware that some countries will require your pet to be quarantined for a period of time after arrival. You should contact the embassy for further information.

If your pet is small, most airlines will allow you to bring him in a carrier onto the plane with you.  The carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat. Be sure to contact your airline ahead of time, as they limit the number of pets allowed on each flight, and all airlines require certain health documents on your pet.