Whether you’re taking a long road trip or a quick trip down to the doggy park make sure you follow these guidelines for safe travels.
Every time you leave the house, you should make sure your pet is microchipped and wearing a collar. Your pets collar should have a tag with your name, phone number, and any other relevant contact information. If you’re going on a trip it’s a good idea to put a temporary tag on your pets collar that includes the duration of your trip, cell phone, and where you are staying or the phone number for the place.
For safe summer travel with pets, Quigley Motors (Boyertown, PA) reminds us to never ever leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. This rule should really be followed all year long. In the cold weather months leaving your animal in your car can lead to them freezing to death. In the summer months, even with your windows down, your animal can develop heat stroke if they are left in your car.
Always travel with a pet-friendly travel kit. Make sure you bring a bowl, food, water, a waste scoop, leash, medication, grooming supplies, and any travel documents. Some states require to see proof of a rabies shot. So they can still feel at home bring along their favorite toy, blanket, or pillow.
When traveling with a pet make sure you safely secure them inside your vehicle. One way to do so is by putting them in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. Your pet should have enough room to stand, lie down, and turn around inside the crate. While your pet is securely placed inside the crate you want to make sure the crate is securely situated inside your vehicle. If you need to slammed on the brakes or take a sharp turn you want the crate to stay in place. Another option to safely secure your pet inside your vehicle is to keep your pet in a harness attached to a seat buckle. If you’re going on a long trip it’s a good idea to get your pet used to being in your car. Take them out for several short drive followed by a couple longer drives.
Traveling by plane instead of by car? Make sure you buy a USDA-approved pet friendly shipping crate. Just like when traveling by car your pets crate should be big enough for them to sit, stand, and turn around. You should also place some type of bedding or shredded paper towels inside the crate to absorb any accidents. Before you leave for your trip freeze a small dish of water for your pet. You can also tape a bag of dried food to the outside of your pets crate so airline personnel can give them treats. In case of an emergency make sure your pets crate door is securely closed but not locked, this way an airline employee can let your pet out incase of an emergency.
The outside of your animals crate should be marked with the words “Live Animal.” It is also a good idea to attach your name, cell phone number, destination number, and a photo of your pet. If your pet was to somehow escape from the crate the photo of your pet can be a big help.
Before heading out on your trip make sure you book an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian for a checkup. You’ll want to make sure all your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date. You will also need to make sure you acquire a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within 10 days of your departure. Some airlines also require a health certificate dated within 10 days for your return trip. If you are traveling outside of the United States make sure you contact the foreign office of the country you are visiting to see if they require anything.
Whenever possible make sure you book a direct flight. Direct flights reduce the chance your animal could be left on the tarmac during harsh weather conditions. It also decreases the chances your pet could be mishandled.
Lastly, make sure you check with the airline you will be flying with to see what their requirements are. United for example will not accept any pets that have been drugged or sedated. They also require you drop your pet off at the designated airport drop-off area a certain amount of time before they schedule departure time.