With the summer travel season well underway, Central Veterinary Associates is cautioning pet owners to take special care to ensure their animal’s safety with a collection of tips to keep everyone happy and secure during long-distance treks.
“Many people have not traveled with their pets before, so, for the animals, it may become a traumatic experience,” said Dr. John Charos, Chief Executive Officer of Central Veterinary Associates. “By following these tips, pet owners will be able to make this vacation a safe and happy one. If you are still unsure if your pet is able to travel, please consult your veterinarian.”
Before You Head Out
- Speak with your veterinarian regarding potential concerns or risks, such as respiratory problems that arise for some breeds during air travel.
- Research pet-friendly hotels and modes of transportation.
- Find a carrier that’s perfect for your pet and write their name and your contact details on the outside.
- Let pets become familiar with the crates before a long trip to avoid stress during travel.
- Consider getting your pet microchipped to ensure they have identification should they get lost
What to Pack
- Essential items, such as toys, bottled water, food/treats, medications and first aid kit.
- General gear, like grooming products, collars/leashes, stain remover, paper towels and bathroom materials.
- Pet identification, including your pet’s health certificate (required for air travel) and contact information for your veterinarian (in case of an emergency).
- Take your pet on several short trips to assess your pet’s comfort level inside your vehicle prior to your trip.
- Exercise your pet beforehand so that they can burn off energy and relax during the ride.
- Secure your animal with a seatbelt, in a ventilated crate, in the back seat of your car. Animals that roam inside a vehicle are a danger to both the driver and themselves.
- Take semi-frequent stops in order for pets to eat and relieve themselves.
- Do not feed them in the car as they are susceptible to motion sickness.
- NEVER leave a pet alone in a car as the hot temperatures can cause brain damage or even death.
- Notify your airline ahead of time to reserve space for your pet.
- Research your air carrier’s rules and limitations regarding animals, including breed, size and age.
- Have a leash with you to secure your animal during the screening process.
- Bring a soft carrier in the event that your pet can travel as a carry-on.
- Larger pets must travel in the cargo section of the aircraft, where there is an increased risk of injury, so please consider whether it is completely necessary for them to travel with you. If this is the only option, select a direct flight to decrease the risks and select a hard carrier with ample space for the pet to lay down.
- Do not feed your pet four to six hours before a trip, but do keep them hydrated with small amounts of water.
- Do not give a tranquilizer to your animal as it throws off their equilibrium, leaving them vulnerable to harm. The decision to administer tranquilizers during travel should be made only with the help of your veterinarian.
- As soon as possible after arrival, remove your pet from its crate to allow it to stretch and relax.
Sea, Bus and Rail Travel
- Most cruise, train and bus lines do not allow pets, except for service animals, so call the transportation service for information.
Central Veterinary Associates’ Valley Stream office is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any of your pet’s needs. For more information, or to make an appointment, call Central Veterinary Associates at (516) 825-3066 or visit www.centralvets.com.