Many of us travel with our pets. Sometimes out of necessity, but always with the enjoyment of having your furry friend along for the ride. It’s an enriching experience for both of you.
Whether you’re traveling with dogs, cats, or any other type of pet there are a number of health and safety considerations before leaving home. Senior pets and animals with pre-existing conditions are clearly the most vulnerable, but truthfully, accidents can happen with even the healthiest animal. Are you prepared if your pet goes missing? Do you remember what medications they’re taking? What allergies they have? Could you quickly access important health information on the road?
Activ4Pets helps provide peace of mind while traveling with pets. Our mobile app gives you quick and easy access to their complete health profile, just in case. For added convenience we collect and upload your pet’s vaccinations, rabies certificate, allergies, medications, microchip number, insurance information, and more so you have everything at your fingertips. In short Activ4Pets is your digital Pet Passport, meaning you don’t have to worry about any bothersome paperwork while you’re away from home.
Please find below some additional tips for traveling with pets.
Tags and Identification
Possibly the most important consideration is making sure your pet has up-to-date ID tags, securely fastened to their collar. Include as much information as you can – with your name, number and email address as a minimum requirement.
Microchipping your pet is also advisable because it makes identifying them much easier should they go missing and lose their collar/ID tags. Microchipping is a relatively simple, pain-free procedure performed by your vet.
A check up with your veterinarian prior to traveling is always a great idea. But, if your heading out of state it’s also a legal requirement – whether you’re traveling by car, train or plane.
To help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, pet owners are required to obtain a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). The vet will perform a physical examination and check that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. If nothing else, a vet visit provides the peace of mind that your pet is happy, healthy and fit to travel.
You’ve packed your own bags – but does your pet have everything they need? Be sure pack all the supplies they require (food, water, medications, toys, towels, bedding, poop bags, etc.) to travel comfortably for the duration of the journey.
Try to plan for all eventualities. Will you be making pit stops? Staying overnight? Dining out? If so, be sure to search for pet-friendly establishments. With the growing number of hotels, restaurants and coffee shops that cater for fur babies, you should be spoiled for choice.
Each airline will have its own specific policy for pet travel. Some may restrict particular breeds or sizes of animal. For those airlines that do permit flying pets, there are generally two options: traveling with you in the cabin, or in the cargo hold as excess baggage. If your pet is small enough to fit comfortably in a carrier under the seat, then usually they can travel in the cabin. Planning ahead and booking in advance provides the greatest flexibility since most airlines limit the number of pets allowed per flight.
It is always best to travel on the same flight as your pet and avoid layovers where possible, since they may cause unnecessary stress to your animal and incur additional charges.
If you’re preparing to travel internationally with your pet/s be sure to start planning as early as possible. Each destination will have a list of rules and regulations for animals arriving from foreign countries. All require an up-to-date rabies shot/certificate plus a CVI while others, sadly, may not allow foreign pets to enter under certain circumstances. Many countries require a mandatory quarantine period which again varies depending on the destination.
The best place to start is with your vet. They are usually familiar with the protocol for foreign pet travel and can quickly identify the specific list of requirements for your destination of choice. Some destinations require certain medications and/or procedures to be performed by a specific date prior to travel. Coordinate with your vet and plan in advance to avoid any problems en route. As with domestic air travel, each airline has their own policy for flying pets and only particular carriers can transport pets on certain routes between countries.