Traveling with your pet!

January 16, 2017



Meet Bella!

She travels frequently in the US with her mother. They have traveled by plane and car. Millions of people, just like them, travel with their pets every year. Here are the answers to a few important questions you may have before you travel with your pet.


Question: What do I need to do for my pet before we travel?

Answer: There are many things to know before you go; including if your destination is fine with pets, and if they need to be confined while you are away from them. A great website to find information about traveling with your pet by car, boat, plane or train is


Q: Do I need to see a vet before I take a trip with my pet?

A: You should always check to make sure your pet is healthy before you travel and up to date on any vaccines. Also you may wish to have a sedative on hand in case your pet gets anxious while traveling. You may want to get heartworm or flea & tick prevention for your pet as well. Different areas of the US have different risks when it comes to these pests.


Q: What if I am leaving country with my pet?

A: Every country you travel to has different requirements for bringing your pet into their country. Please check the APHIS website for the requirements of each country. Also check with airlines for any requirements they may have for your pet to travel, and because airlines take a limited amount of pets per flight. The APHIS website is the USDA’s site and keeps updated on what documentation you need to have your pet with you as you leave (and return) to the US. It also lists what your pet needs to have done medically before your trip. Sometimes it can take up to 2 months to have your pet prepared for your trip so check the website early and often for any changes that may have occurred as you prepare. Your veterinarian will be happy to help you prepare your pet for your trip. The website is


Q: When traveling by car how often should we stop?

A: You should stop every 3-4 hours to let your pet go to the bathroom, and get in a good stretch. Make sure that the areas you stop will allow pets, and follow the signs to the area where they are allowed to go to the bathroom. Make sure you keep cleaning supplies with you if the pet does have an accident in the vehicle. If you have a cat bring a travel litter pan so they can go to the bathroom on the floor. The best place to keep it is behind the front seats on the floor. Make sure you NEVER leave your pet unattended in the car. Even a day that is sunny and mild can warm your car up to unbearable temperatures for a pet. Keep a supply of water on hand for them as well.

Q: Does my pet have to stay in a crate/carrier?

A: Your destination or mode of travel may require you to keep your pet contained. First make sure you have the right crate/carrier for you purposes. The airline will list what is acceptable for plane travel. When you use a crate or carrier make sure you have let the pet get acclimated to it. Place comfy bedding (and something that smells like you) in it and encourage them to sleep there while you are still home. And leave the door open so they can come and go as they please. Take them on a car ride with it to get them used to being in the car, and in the crate/carrier.   It is best if you start this process several weeks before travel.

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