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Health and Safety Should Be a Top Priority When Traveling with Pets

Traveling with your pet has become more accepted and feasible for pet owners as an increasing number of hotels and airlines are accommodating pet-friendly policies to meet the needs of today’s traveler. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, Fido and Fluffy are popular travel companions with 29 million of all U.S. adults saying they have traveled with a pet in the last three years.

When pets join the family’s spring or summer vacation or for holiday travel, pet parents need to plan ahead and know some essential tips to ensure their pet’s health. According to the American Humane Association:


Research pet-friendly hotels in advance and be aware of restrictions before making reservations.

Consider the destinations’ weather and climate. Hot, humid or rainy areas provide a breeding ground for parasites that can cause discomfort and serious illness, so protect pets with products such as Advantage® flea control for cats and dogs or K9 Advantix® flea, tick and mosquito control for dogs. Cold climates make for dangerous travel by air.

Visit a veterinarian to verify all vaccinations and discuss any unique risks pets might face in various locations such as Lyme disease or heartworm.

Veterinarians may be able to prescribe a mild sedative or tranquilizer to counteract motion sickness or anxiety if a pet suffers from it.

Bring copies of health records and a current photograph of the pet in case it is lost.

Trim nails and claws to minimize any damage that can be done to a car’s interior, hotel room, or guest house.

Always make sure your pet is properly identified and tag the owner’s cell phone number to their collar in case they are lost.

Never leave your pet unattended in your vehicle. Even 10 minutes can be too long for a pet left in a car on a hot day.

Bring a familiar blanket or toy from home and create a “home away from home” to help pets feel more secure.

The Incredible Journey

If a pet requires a kennel, make sure it’s large enough for the pet to stand and turn around, and always label the kennel with “This end up” and “Live animal” stickers if traveling by plane.

Pets need to be secured safely in a car in case of accidents or sudden stops. Crates and harnesses are available to help pets travel comfortably.

To avoid digestive problems, bring a supply of a pets regular food and gradually adjust pets to a new water supply. Leave home with a gallon of water and at various stops, gradually mix equal parts of the new water to the old.

Stick to the same potty “schedule” as home.

For more information on pet health,

Article courtesy of Bayer HealthCare Animal Health Division.

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Washington FAMILY Staff

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