Tips For Travelling With Your Pet
For many travellers a vacation just isn’t a vacation without their furry family members. Here, some tips on keeping your pet safe as you travel.
Keep the skies friendly for your favourite jet set pet by following these recommendations from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association:
— Do not sedate your pet on a flight, unless advised by your veterinarian. High altitudes and sedatives can be a dangerous combination, potentially inhibiting an animal’s ability to regulate its body temperature or cause breathing problems.
— Consider making an appointment with your vet prior to departure to make sure your pet is in good health and can withstand the rigors of air travel.
— Be sure to bring your pet’s certificate of health and immunization record. When traveling outside the country, contact the appropriate embassy for quarantine or health requirements.
— Book your travel well in advance, as most airlines accept a limited number of pets on each flight. Ask about the airline’s procedure regarding pets, as each one is slightly different. (See Pet-friendly skies?) Some airlines allow for small pets to be taken on board, provided that the carrier fits underneath the passenger seat.
– Buckle up! You’re not the only one who should be wearing your seat belt. For protection in case of an accident or an abrupt stop, secure your pet with a travel harness, carrier, crate, tether or dog/cat car seat.
— It’s safer for young children to sit in the back seat – and the same is also true for your pet. Not only will this protect your dog or cat from deploying airbags, but also they will also be less of a distraction for the driver.
— Protect pets from drowning by providing them with a life vest. This will provide buoyancy and better visibility should they get knocked off the boat or dock and take an unexpected dip. Using a life vest could save your pet’s life, particularly in cold or choppy water
— Pets should be shown the pool steps or boat ramp so they know how to get out of the water.
–Be aware of the vegetation in the area as there are hundreds of plants and flowers that are poisonous to pets – including lily of the valley, iris, daffodils and many more. (Find out more.) Also, watch for any fruit that has fallen to the ground as this could make your pet sick.
— Runoff and pooling water can contain dangerous traces of chemicals such as coolant, engine oil, fertilizers, plant foods and pesticides.
Health documentation. As a precaution, carry two copies of your pet’s health and vaccination records.
Two types of ID. Have your pet wear two tags when traveling: one with your permanent address and telephone number, another with a way to contact you while traveling (including your cell phone number). A useful trick is to staple a card of your hotel onto your pet’s collar. You may also want to have your pet micro-chipped in addition to wearing traditional identification tags. And, finally, in the event your pet should become lost, carrying a current photo can be useful.
Bedding. Be sure to pack your pet’s favourite blanket or pillow
Flashlight. This is useful not only for emergencies but for late night walks
An extra leash and collar or harness with ID tags.
Mini-fan. This comes in handy if your pet becomes overheated while travelling or in the hotel room