Traveling with Your Pets

Are you planning on traveling with your pets this holiday? 

travel with roverIf so, there are many things you need to consider before traveling. Traveling in the car or via plane can be stressful and cause illness especially if your pet is already ill, has an injury, an elder senior pet, or has anxiety issues.  If any of these are the case then you should consider either a pet sitter or a boarding facility.

If you elect to go ahead and travel with your pet then consider the following:

  • Make sure your pet has identification (tags and/or microchip) with up-to-date information.
    • Pet ID tag including:
      • Your name, current home address and cell phone number
    • The microchip registration should be updated with your current contact information including a cell phone number.
  • If you are taking your pet across state or international borders, a health certificate is required – even if driving. The health certificate must be signed by a veterinarian that is accredited by the USDA to do so (FYI, Dr. Seibel at Advanced Pet Care of Parker is USDA certified to do so).  After your pet has been examined, found to be up to date on vaccines, and found to be free of infectious diseases then a health certificate can be issued.
    • Health certificates are only good for 10 days if flying so make sure you schedule your health certificate accordingly.  You may have to get another one at your destination point in order to return home with your pet if your return flight is greater than 10 days after the original certificate is issued.
    • Health Certificates are good for 30 days if traveling by car.
    • Not all veterinarians are licensed to issue health certificate

What should I bring with me on my trip?

  • Your veterinarian’s contact information and any information about your pet that may needed if they get sick (especially if they have existing medical problems).
    • Including copies of their vaccine status, rabies certificate, and rabies tag
  • Make sure you also have plenty of medications too!  If your pet has a medical condition that requires medications then ensure you have enough for your trip and some additional for any possible delays in travel.
  • List of Veterinarians and 24 hour Emergency Hospitals along the way and close to your destination – especially if your pet has a medical condition.
  • Acclimation certificate for air travel – this is usually part of your health certificate
  • Items for your pet
    • Prescribed medications
    • Collar, leash, harness
    • Crate
    • Bed/blankets & Toys
    • Food and fresh water

What about traveling with my pet out of the country or to Hawaii?

You can travel with your pet off of the mainland states, but it can be very difficult to get your pet to another country or Hawaii!   Some countries (and Hawaii) require quarantine of your pet upon arrival.  Almost all of the destinations outside of the mainland states will require not only a health certificate but also additional steps (rabies testing, microchips, +/- other vaccinations, etc).  Your veterinarian or a pet travel agency can help you learn what requirements need to be met to export an animal out of the mainland USA.  You can also explore the USDA’s website to learn about the requirements for other countries.

Traveling by Car

What should I do to keep my pet safe and healthy?

  • Make frequent stops (about every 2-3 hours) to allow your pet to go to the bathroom and get some exercise.
  • Properly restrain your pet in the car to prevent injury to your pets, you and to other drivers – a crate works best for all pets,
  • Do not let your pet ride in the back of a truck. If your pet must ride in the truck bed, they should be confined in a protective kennel that is secured to the truck to prevent injury.
  • Do not allow your pet to ride with their heads outside the window. Dirt and other debris can enter their eyes, ears and nose and cause injury or infection.
  • Pets should not be allowed to ride on the driver’s lap or near the driver’s feet.  All dogs and cats should be transported in carriers that are secured in the car.  This helps prevent injuries to them and your pet from causing you to get into an accident.
  • Providing a familiar blanket and/or safe toy can help make your pet more comfortable during the trip.

Links and Additional Information For Pet Owners

Feel free to leave any additional questions you might have about traveling with your pets or give us a call 303-840-6300.