Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

It’s time for the long-awaited travels! Whether you are planning a road trip, flying to a distant location, or just heading out for the day, it’s important to prepare ahead to ensure you have a safe and comfortable journey with your pet. Our dedicated veterinary team at Rainier West Veterinary Hospital has put together some tips to ensure you and your pet have a safe and pleasant travel experience. 

Plan a Vet Visit

Before traveling, visit Rainier West Veterinary Hospital for a pre-travel check-up and to ensure your pet is current on all necessary vaccinations. Check whether your destination has specific pet health requirements or special documentation. If your pet has anxiety concerns during traveling, we may recommend calming aids or anti-anxiety medications. Dr. Doyle and our team are happy to offer tips to ensure your trip is as smooth as possible for you and your furry friend. 

Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations

Research and book pet-friendly hotels or accommodations well in advance of your trip to avoid last-minute hassles. Check the hotel’s pet policy, including any fees or restrictions, to ensure there are no surprises upon arrival. It’s also a good idea to locate a veterinary hospital or pet emergency center close to your accommodations, just in case your furry friend needs veterinary care. 

Pack a Pet Travel Kit

Prepare a travel kit for your feline or canine companion that includes water, bowls, food, extra treats, a leash, disposable litter boxes, trash bags, paper towels, grooming supplies, medication, and any travel documents. Think of things special to your pet, like a favorite toy or blanket, to provide a sense of familiarity and comfort during your journey. 

Keep Your Pet Secure

Use a well-ventilated crate or carrier that allows your pet to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around comfortably. If your pet is not used to being in a crate or carrier, prepare well ahead of your trip. Keep the pet carrier in plain view with the door open and place treats inside. Helping your pet associate the carrier with positive experiences can make the upcoming trip less stressful for you both. 

Check Your Pet Identification

Make sure your cat or dog wears a collar with an ID tag, including your current contact information. It’s important to ensure your pet is microchipped and your current contact information is registered in the microchip database. ID tags and microchips can significantly increase your chances of a happy reunion should your beloved furry companion ever wander away. 

Be Mindful of Your Pet’s Needs

While it’s not always possible when traveling, try to stick to your pet’s regular feeding and exercise routine. If you’re on a road trip, stop every 2-3 hours to let your pet stretch, relieve themselves, and drink water. Being mindful of your pet’s needs can help reduce stress and make travel more comfortable for everyone. 

Never Leave Your Pet Unattended in a Car

It’s often hard to imagine how hot it can get in a car. Even with the windows down, a parked car can become unbearably hot in no time, leading to heatstroke and posing a serious risk to your furry friend’s health. Sadly, hundreds – yes, hundreds of pets perish each year from being left in a hot car. An animal can sustain brain damage or even die due to heatstroke in just 15 minutes!

Be Patient and Flexible

Traveling with a pet can be unpredictable. Be prepared for adjustments and have a plan B in case of delays or changes. Your patience, flexibility, and sense of humor will help keep the trip enjoyable for you and your furry companion.

Quality Veterinary Care Near Me in Lacey, WA

Dr. Doyle and her team at Rainier West Veterinary Hospital are dedicated to ensuring your pet is safe and healthy, whether at home or on the go. Visit our Lacey practice for your pet’s pre-travel check-up and tailored advice on traveling with your pet. We invite you to contact our office at (360) 339-8262 to schedule your pet’s appointment or request one online today!