Pet Safety Tips for Happy Vacation Trips

Dec_2014_1If you’re preparing to hit the road or take to the skies this summer, there are a few things you should keep in mind if Fido is traveling along.

While we now have many pet-friendly options available, attention to a few details will ensure happy tails on your happy trails.

On the road:

  • Make sure you have a sturdy pet crate or carrier for safety in the car, hotel or both. It should be large enough for your pet to stand, lie down and turn around.
  • Feed Fido a light meal 3 or 4 hours before hitting the road.
  • Never leave your pet alone in a parked car, even with the windows open!
  • Does your dog have a travel kit? Create one with his food/water bowls, leash, bags for waste, grooming supplies, medication and a favorite toy or pillow.

In the air:

  • Airline policies vary, but all have size restrictions for dogs traveling in the cabin. To travel on board, your dog must be small enough for an under-seat pet carrier.
  • If Fido can’t fit under the seat, you’ll need to check him in to travel with luggage. See for a rundown of airline pet policies.
  • To travel in the luggage area, your pet should be in a sturdy plastic carrier. Don’t forget to put your name, address and multiple phone numbers on the carrier!
  • Always try to book a non-stop direct flight. Also, book flight times that will help you avoid extreme temperatures: early morning or late evening during the summer and midday during the winter.
  • You’ll need to get a health certificate signed by your vet within 10 days of your flight.
  • Veterinary experts advise against giving dogs sedatives or tranquilizers for flights, but check with your vet if you feel it’s medically necessary for your dog.

In general:

  • Don’t leave home without your dog’s papers! Whether you’re traveling near or far, take Fido’s rabies vaccination record, prescriptions, his vet’s number and any other needed documents.
  • If your pet doesn’t have an ID tag on his collar, get him one before the trip. Adding a temporary travel tag with your mobile number and destination number is also a good idea.

Ensuring your dog’s safety and comfort will have him ready for your travel adventures! Keep safe and enjoy your trip.