Are We There Yet? Pet Travel Tips to Keep You Safe and Sane
Our central location makes it easier for patients and their families to come see us from areas within our home state of Pennsylvania, but also from New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and beyond. Many pets take to the open road like it’s their destiny; others, not so much.
For these worried pets, even a short trip around the block can be a trial, but for a pet who doesn’t feel well, car travel can quickly become unnerving – for everyone. Our pet travel tips aim to ease some of your concerns, so all of you can arrive safe and sound.
The Cart Before the Horse
For your pet’s health and safety, we offer this basic travel checklist to get started:
- Your pet’s printed medical records are critical when leaving home. You may be able to access the same information online or through an app, but having your pet’s history mapped out in an organized fashion is very helpful.
- Your pet’s microchip information must be up to date. Also, his or her identification tags should be clear.
- All vaccinations and parasite prevention must be in place. Traveling across state lines (or into different regions of the country) can expose your pet to various parasites and diseases.
- Don’t forget any prescriptions, and have your pet’s essential medications clearly labeled and organized.
- Have a complete pet first aid kit. Place necessary items for your pet’s medical condition in easy to reach spots.
Critical Pet Travel Tips
Luckily, we have GPS in our cars and on our phones. Still, it’s a good idea to map out your route. Have a firm grasp on the shortest, most direct trajectory, and plan your trip so you’re in traffic as little as possible. Avoiding rush hour might be the smartest thing you’ll ever do for your traveling pet. Also:
- If you have to stop during your trip, know when and where the best places are to help your pet relieve him or herself.
- Even if you believe your pet won’t get away from you, please remember to attach the leash.
- Pets should never be left alone inside a parked vehicle during the summer, but it’s equally important that ill, weak, or frail pets stay as warm and comfortable as possible during colder months.
- Extra blankets and snuggle toys can make the journey less frightening and worrisome.
- Your pet may feel safe and secure in his or her own travel crate. Make sure it’s buckled-in across the back seat; airbags in the front seat can be very dangerous to pets.
- If your pet will not travel in a crate, consider purchasing a harness specifically designed for pet-safe car rides.
- If you plan on breaking up your trip over the course of a day or two (or more), make sure your hotel accommodations are pet-friendly.
Keep on Truckin’
Many pets handle various cancer treatments remarkably well, but chemotherapy can cause nausea, vomiting, and even diarrhea. Small, frequent meals can help mitigate some of these side effects, as well as certain medications. We’re happy to discuss other ways you can support your pet following his or her cancer treatment.
Your pet may not show any interest in eating or drinking during and after a car trip, but dehydration can happen quickly (especially if stressed). Offer little sips throughout your trip and small nibbles of tasty food to settle the stomach.