Whether you’re taking your pets on a short vacation or are moving to another country, it is important to know how to travel with your pets safely. Having moved from Ontario to Newfoundland with my critters, here are some tips I have picked up.
#1 Local Vaccine and Parasite Requirements
When travelling, it is important to know what diseases are prominent or protected against in that area. If you are travelling to another country or even another province, it is important to make sure your pet receives their required vaccines. For example, it is mandatory that all animals that cross international borders receive their rabies vaccines.
In Newfoundland, we typically only see ticks from spring to fall (keep in mind ticks become active in any weather over 1C, so if it’s a mild winter day watch out!). However, if you are travelling somewhere warm for winter such as Florida, it is important that your pet is up to date on their parasite control. In temperate climates fleas, heartworm and ticks are prominent year-round!
#2 Safely Transporting Pets
If you are travelling by car, it is important to make sure your pets are safely secured. Just as you wouldn’t let a toddler wander the car without a seatbelt, it can be dangerous to drive with your pets loose during hours-long highway driving. Cats are safest in a small carrying crate preferably placed on the floor near the middle of the car. Being on the floor means the crate will be stable if the brakes are suddenly applied while being in the middle of the car helps in the prevention of injuries if there are any accidents.
There are many types of seat belts designed for dogs of almost every size. However, if your dog is unable to sit well with a seatbelt harness, a well-secured crate in the back of the vehicle may be the next best option.
If you are travelling by plane, it is important that you call the airline ahead of time, as only a certain number of animals are allowed on each. It is HIGHLY recommended that when a pet is flying with you, that they fly in the cabin with you and not stowed in luggage. Some pets have health conditions that make flying in the cabin mandatory. However, certain conditions make it so that even flying in the cabin can pose a great health risk. Please give us a call to book an appointment so we can assess which transportation method is best for your pet.
Just as some humans experience nausea or severe anxiety when flying, pets can sometimes need a little medication to make travelling a better experience. Anti-nausea medication may benefit pets who have a tendency to get sick in the car. There are also medications available to help keep animals calm during what can be a stressful event. Let us know if your pets are having any symptoms of nausea or anxiety, and we’ll see which medication is the best fit for your pet.
If you have any questions, give us a call at 709.368.7981.
Written by: Dr. Julia Bulfon