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Summer Travel Tips for Pets

Updated: Jan 9

Summer is a popular time to travel but has a few disadvantages for pets such as heat and crowds. Several things need to be taken into consideration when deciding to include your pet in your travel plans. The information in this article is adapted from a list of recommendations from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

First and foremost, you always want to make sure your pet is comfortable with travel. Some pets cannot handle travel because of illness, injury, age or temperament including anxieties.

  • If you don't often take your pet in the car, start with short trips to "fun" destinations (such as a dog-friendly park or play area) to help your pet get used to riding in a car.

  • If your pet gets car sick, talk to your veterinarian about alternate traveling suggestions, supplements or medications to keep them comfortable.

  • Make sure your pet has identification tags with up-to-date information. Permanent identification with microchipping is highly recommended as

  • When considering interstate or international travel for your pet, plan ahead because some preparations may need to start six months or more in advance depending on destination. Countries, territories, states, and even public modes of transportation have requirements and restrictions on transporting animals. It is your responsibility to get this information from the authorities of your destination well in advance of travel so that you can plan accordingly, including considering alternatives to transporting the animal(s). Further information can be found on the USDA APHIS website.

  • Make sure that your pet is allowed where you are staying. If staying with family and friends, inform your host that your pet will be coming along and make sure that your pet is a welcomed guest as well. When staying in a hotel/motel, stay at a pet friendly place. Some hotels/motels only accept small pets or pets under a certain weight; when making a reservation, make sure you inquire about the terms of their pet policy. Try to minimize the amount of time your pet will be alone in the room. When leaving your pet alone in the room, inform the front desk that your pet is being left alone in the room and place a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. Make sure the hotel/motel knows how they can contact you if there are any problems. Many websites exist to help you locate pet friendly stays.

  • To keep your pet safe and healthy, plan to make frequent stops (about every 2-3 hrs) to allow your pet to go to the bathroom and get some exercise.

Last, but not least, properly restrain your pet in the car to prevent injury to your pets, you and to other drivers.

Do not let your pet ride in the back of a truck. If your pet must ride in the truck bed, they should be confined in a protective kennel that is secured to the truck to prevent injury.

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