Are you planning a winter vacation with your pet to take a break from the cold? Let the team at Clearwater Animal Hospital help you prepare. Consider the following five tips for traveling with a pet, so you and your fur baby have a happy, safe, stress-free journey.
Expect the Unexpected
Even with the most thorough planning, sometimes accidents happen that can put your four-legged friend in danger. Always pack an emergency kit with basic first aid items when you travel with your pet. It’s also important to get familiar with the nearest emergency veterinarians near your destination. That way, if ever you find yourself in need of emergency care, you’ll already know where to find it.
Keep Vaccinations Updated
Vaccinations help protect your pet from potentially fatal diseases, which is why it’s so important to keep them updated, especially when you travel. Showing proof of vaccinations is often required for international air travel and certain airlines before pet can be allowed to board. Always check your airline’s policy in advance to make sure you’re well prepared.
Make Sure Your Pet Has ID
Sadly, there have been cases where pets become separated from their owners during travel and are never reunited with them. Don’t let your pet be one of them. Make sure they have an updated ID tag or microchip. A microchip serves as a permanent form of identification that can be scanned by most animal shelters and hospitals in the country.
Choose Your Pet Carrier Wisely
Regardless of how you’ll be traveling, always choose a pet carrier that’s comfortable and spacious enough for your pet to turn around in. Keep in mind that all airlines have dimension limits for pet carriers in the cabin, so if your pet will be your carryon, make sure the carrier does not exceed these limits. For the cabin, we recommend that you choose a soft-sided carrier, since it offers more flexibility under the seat.
Know the Fees
Most airlines charge an additional fee of about $100 (each way) to fly with a pet. Check your airline’s website for their fee information. Most airlines require also that you book your pet’s flight when you book your own, so make sure to check this as well. We recommend that you also about the pet cancellation policy, too, in case you need to cancel at the last minute. If you DO decide to cancel your pet’s flight at the last minute, remember that Clearwater Animal Hospital offers boarding. Give us a call to book a stay or if you have any questions.