Pet Travel Day Brings Advice, Tips
(Portland, Oregon) – National Pet Travel Day is coming up on Januray 2, happening right in the middle of the busy travel season.
These days, travelers more often than not take their four-legged friends along with them as they head over the river and through the woods – whether it be by plane or on the road. Pet insurance company Trupanion offered up some useful tips on taking your little beastie with you.
For road trips, Trupanion said traveling on long car rides means many hours of being cooped up inside a vehicle. While this isn’t always all that fun for two-legged creatures, it can be even more stressful for our pets. To make the ride as smooth as possible, Trupanion offered these tips to plan your holiday road trip.
Take practice trips. This is especially important for pets that have never traveled before as well as pets who become car sick and need time to get used to the motion of the car.
Buckle up your pet. There are many options available to keep pets safe inside vehicles, including harnesses that attach to the seat belt to keep them restrained in the event of an accident. Cats should always be kept inside carriers as they can easily panic and become a distraction to the driver.
Think “kids.” Air bags can injure or even kill your pet, so follow the same guidelines as you would for children and keep them in the back seat, safely buckled in.
Schedule extra time: be prepared to stop every two hours or so to allow your pet to take a break, stretch his legs, and drink some water.
For trips in the air, Trupanion said that ideally your pet would travel in a carrier with you in the cabin. However, some pets are too large for the size carrier airlines require and must travel in the cargo area. Here are some important considerations when traveling by air with your pet:
In some cases, it’s best to give your pet medication to help calm them down – especially for trips with longer travel times. The safest to use is Benadryl in its pure form. It’s known as Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (its non-trade name). It is vital that you select a form of Benadryl that does not contain other medications for cold or sinus symptoms; only the pure form of Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride is safe for your pet. (For more information on how to safely administer Benadryl to your pet see our Trupanion blog here: http://trupanion.com/blog/2013/05/using-benadryl-to-treat-dogs-for-allergies-bites-and-more/). There are stronger options to administer to your pet that your veterinarian can recommend and prescribe to you.
Be sure to visit your veterinarian within 10 days of your trip to obtain a health certificate required by airlines to travel with a pet.
Mark the kennel or travel crate with your pet’s name, your name, and your phone number so those caring for your pet know how to contact you in case of an emergency.
While most airlines have similar rules regarding travel with pets, each airline has a few specific regulations, so always check with your airline directly.
Arrive at the airport early, exercise your pet, and personally place him in the crate or bag he will be traveling in.
Invest in pet insurance prior to the trip to help ensure you are able to afford veterinary care for any illnesses or injuries your pet develops during the flight. Don’t blow your holiday budget on a costly vet bill.
When it comes to traveling internationally with your pet, this can be even more complicated. Every country has its own set of guidelines and import requirements; you’ll need to do your research for a safe and successful journey. See here for pet safety on the Oregon coast.
Length of time. If you’re traveling abroad for a long period of time you should take your pets. However, if it’s just a few weeks or less, don’t take your beloved pet as the procedures, processes, and work that goes into preparing your pet for international travel can be strenuous. It depends on where you’re traveling, but some countries require your pet to be quarantined for a certain amount of time.
Some countries simply require the veterinarian who examines your pet to be licensed in the state of origin, and no USDA endorsement of the veterinarian’s examination statement is required. Other countries will accept a standard letterhead health certificate and rabies certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian and endorsed by the USDA. However, other countries may require that your pet be checked by a federally-accredited veterinarian and that United States Interstate and International Certificate for Health Examination for Small Animals (AHPIS Form 7001) be issued by that veterinarian and endorsed by the USDA. The timetable for obtaining examination statements and certifications can be very tight. Plan well in advance to be sure all paperwork is complete in time for your travel date.