Summer Travel Tips for Pets
By Brent Bilhartz
As we turn the corner on the summer solstice, lots of us are planning a vacation that might include Fido or Fifi. Before you hit the road with your furry friend, consider these tips to help your trip be as fun and safe as possible.
The best thing you can do to ensure everyone enjoys a smooth trip is research before you go. Websites such as PetsWelcome.com and PetTravel.com list resources for finding pet friendly hotels, parks, day care, vets, and airline guidelines. Once you have selected a hotel, always contact them directly to ensure everyone is on the same page with regards to rules on pet size, additional costs that may be incurred with pets being kept in the room, whether or not pets may be left in your hotel room if you are not present, et cetera. The same holds true for airline carriers. Each has their own specific pet travel policies and differences between flying in cabin versus cargo are considerable. Doing a little digging will ensure you are prepared with all necessary paperwork to show proof of pet neutering, pet vaccinations, microchip identification and other veterinary services that many hotels, airlines, and boarding facilities require. Knowing costs up front permits better budgeting for your trip.
Look up listings for local veterinary clinics, emergency animal hospitals and boarding facilities in advance of travel. Printing out the hours, contact numbers and addresses these businesses, in case of an emergency need, is a great way to be prepared for the unexpected. LazyPaw Animal Hospitals has a unique online appointment scheduler that lets you book an appointment any time, day or night. If you find multiple, local veterinary offices to choose from, use the power of Google, Yelp and regional friends to select the most service oriented and positively reviewed for their animal care.
If your hotel or rental is not pet friendly, you many wish to consider boarding your pet. A local veterinary clinic may be the best place to seek safe, reliable boarding services.
When on the road, many people permit their animals roam free in the car. This practice is unsafe for both pet and driver. Animals moving about a car are a distraction. In the advent of an accident, a loose animal is just as unsafe as a loose child would be. Pet’s riding in laps when an airbag goes off, in addition to the driver, can be severely injured or even killed. Children are secured into appropriate safety seats. Pets deserve no less. Secure your four-footed companions in a secure crate that is belted into a seat or employ safety belt designed specifically for use by pets.
For a happier trip, give your pet lots of exercise before travel time. A tired pet is a happy pet, and having less energy to get excited by the change and movement will help your pet feel calmer. Exercise is also a great time to give your pet the chance to go eliminate thereby reducing smelly in-car accidents.
Make sure your pet is wearing a clearly visible ID and collar at all times, and never let them roam off the leash. As an added precaution, all pets should be microchipped.
While traveling, try to stick to your pet’s regular feeding and exercise schedule as much as possible. Animals enjoy habits, and a steady schedule will help them feel at home. You should also bring familiar toys and blankets to help your pet feel comfortable.
With a little research and planning, every trip can be an exciting experience for both you and your furry companions.
Founded in 2005 by husband and wife team Dr. Brent Bilhartz and Dr. Julaine Hunter, LazyPaw Animal Hospital in Frisco, Texas is a different kind of animal hospital. We are veterinarians without distraction, and ours is a culture of genuine care.]]>