By Dr. Butch Schroyer
With their own seat belts, luggage and collapsible food and water bowls, our pets are now, more than ever, ready to travel with us.
So what can you do to ensure that your pet will arrive safely and ready to enjoy your vacation?
A few ounces of preparation and time will prevent future heartaches and frustrations on the trip.
Make sure your pet has proper identification on him or her at all times. This can be as simple as an ID tag on his collar, but a more permanent solution would be the use of an implantable microchip.
Bring copies of vaccination records, and keep necessary med- ications easily accessible during the trip. You might even ask your family veterinarian for a recommendation of an emergency hospital near your destination.
Do your homework
Some travel sites may require a health certificate for your pet. Generally, this document must be dated within 10 days of the start of your travels.
When traveling by car, owners need to plan rest stops and exercise times for their animal companions.
Keep a jug of fresh water in the car to avoid times when reliable water sources may not be available.
Don’t let your pet eat their normal rations. Pets travel better with small amounts of food and water in their system.
Cats should be kept in carriers or cages during travel to avoid potential accidents if the pet gets “underfoot” of the driver.
When you arrive, be sure that you are aware of pet-friendly hotels and campsites in the area.
Veterinary and animal experts recommend owners be “considerate” and have a kennel or crate available.
Some pets won’t accept the changes that travel brings to their lives.
If this is the case, finding a good local boarding kennel or reliable pet sitter is a smarter idea.
Lists of kennels can be found online, and your veterinarian should have some suggestions.
So, as the busy travel season gets underway, remember that many problems can be avoided with preparation and homework.
Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about your pet’s special travel needs and what he or she recommends for traveling.
Dr. Butch Schroyer is a veterinarian at the Animal Care Clinic next to Chase Bank at Palomar Shopping Centre. Info: DrButch@AnimalCareClinic.net or at 223-8866