Tips and Guidance for Pet Travel
Traveling with your pet can be a wonderful experience for you both. However, there is much preparation before your pet can accompany you either domestically or internationally. At New Berlin Animal Hospital, our veterinarians are USDA-accredited, meaning they can supply you with the proper health certificates needed for travel. We can also give you tips on how best to transport your pet to make them as comfortable and safe as possible.
Preparing for Travel
The health certificate is only part of pet travel preparation! Depending on your method of travel, your pet will need different preparation needs. The two most common forms of transport are by car or plane. Keep in mind that, in general, cats are very stressed by travel, and leaving them at home in their own environment is ideal. While dogs adapt more readily to travel, they still have significant needs. Take these tips into account:
Travel by Car:
- Make sure you properly secure your pet with a harness or in a carrier.
- Do not allow your dog to stick their head out of the window. Debris, bugs, or other moving vehicles can cause serious injury to your pet.
- Ensure you stop frequently for your pet to toilet. This also allows them to stretch their legs.
- Do not let your pet ride in the front seat of your car. If the airbags deploy, they could cause harm to your pet.
- Ensure your pet has proper identification. If they escape from the car, or at your destination, you’ll have a better chance of being reunited if your pet has a collar and/or microchip.
Travel by Plane:
Air travel is unsuitable for animals, particularly those who must go in the cargo hold. It is best if you are able to keep your pet with you in the cabin. However, airlines often have size restrictions.
If you must take your pet by plane, follow these tips.
- Take direct flights whenever possible.
- Ensure you microchip your pet and place your contact information on them and on their carrier.
- Choose flight times that accommodate extreme temperature fluctuations such as evening flights in the summer and daytime flights in the winter.
- Inform the captain or flight attendants that your pet is in the cargo hold.
- Do not feed your pet 4-6 hours before the trip to keep them from toileting mid-flight. Small amounts of water are necessary, however, to avoid dehydration.
- Give your pet a thorough exam as soon as you arrive at your destination and contact the nearest veterinarian if you notice anything of concern.
Schedule an Appointment to Discuss Pet Travel
As soon as you commit to traveling with your pet and complete the necessary research for their health certificate, schedule an appointment with us! Some countries’ requirements take months to fulfill, so the sooner we can get started on your pet’s needed care, the better! Contact us today at 262-782-6910 or request an appointment online.