Tips for travelling with your pet
To prepare properly for a plane or car trip with your cat or dog, follow the advice of the veterinarians at Passionimo.
Are you among those who love travelling with their pets? With the busiest times for pet travelling being the Holidays and summer vacation, your team of veterinarians at Passionimo want to help you to prepare your trip properly so that everything goes smoothly, and you can enjoy your vacation time.
More and more people travel with their pets, but how to plan it well?
The most important thing to do is to plan ahead as the preparation required will depend on the country of destination:
- United States: The rabies vaccine must be administered more than a month prior to departure. A vaccination certificate signed by a veterinarian confirming that the vaccine is valid on both the departure and return dates is mandatory. A good tip is to keep the certificate with your passport.
- Europe: Your pet must be vaccinated for rabies and microchipped (a unique electronic identification system placed under the skin). Your pet must be microchipped prior to getting vaccinated.
- Australia and Japan: Antibody tests for several diseases, as well as special dewormers are required. There is also a lot of paperwork to complete. For that reason, we recommend that you seek the counsel of a live export expert because leaving one’s pet in quarantine is very difficult. And because those countries are rabies-free, they do not kid around on this matter…
Do you have any tips for people who are considering flying with their pets?
The first thing to do is to contact the airline for more information. Some airlines ban pets on flights from December 12 to January 15 due to the increase in traffic over the Holiday period.
Some airlines allow cats and dogs small enough to fit comfortably in a carrier to fly in the cabin. The carrier must be stowed under the seat in front of the owner throughout the flight. Pets must stay in their carrier even if they are calm and quiet.
Please note that it can get very cold or hot prior to departures and arrivals. Some breeds like the brachycephalic dog breed (dogs with a short nose and flat face such as Boston Terriers and bulldogs) are not allowed in the cabin as they can easily suffer heat strokes.
What to do to prevent car sickness in pets?
Get your pet used to the car gradually. It’s preferable to go on frequent short trips at first (e.g. a trip back and forth down the street to go to the pump) than to start with a long trip from the get-go.
Your veterinarian can also prescribe highly effective anti-nausea medication that will not cause drowsiness.
For dogs, plan to take a break every 3 hours to let them stretch their legs, drink water, etc. Also remember to bring a harness to buckle up your dog so that, in case of an accident, your pet won’t be ejected like a missile from the car and hurt someone. In addition, do not let dogs hang their heads outside the window, as this can be dangerous for their eyes and ears.
Most cats will feel more comfortable travelling in a carrier. Don’t forget to plan for water and litter box breaks. Also, be careful when you open doors as cats could easily slip out.
Do you have other tips to make travelling easier?
- Before bringing a pet along on a visit, ask if anyone is allergic. Some people cannot be in contact with our furry friends at all.
- Make sure that your pet is wearing a medal with the number of the mobile phone you are bringing on your trip. This way, you can be reached easily if your companion goes missing.
- If you have pet insurance, find out about the details of your coverage before you leave, as it can vary in other countries.
Do you have more questions?
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Passionimo veterinary clinic nearest to you.