Online vet reviews tips for traveling with your pet
As Memorial Day approaches, many Americans are planning mini-getaways and more and more families are including their family dog in these trips. Traveling with your pet can make for a wonderful trip, but it does require a bit of prep work to ensure your pet can participate in the family fun safely.
6. Air travel varies by the airline carrier so check in advance. Most all require a health certificate from a veterinarian as well as proof of current vaccines. There are also weight restrictions and fees associate with carrying your pet in the cabin with you, as well as breed restrictions for checking them with luggage. Generally speaking, checking them is more dangerous as temperatures are not regulated so check with your vet if your pet is a candidate for this.
5. The classic American tradition of road trips can easily be shared with your four-legged children, however they can be dangerous if you don’t prepare appropriately. While it is tempting to let your dog sit in your lap and look out the window, it is dangerous. Ever seen a cat laying on the back shelf of the back of the car? A suddent stop or turn can send your pet flying. If there was an accident, your pet could even escape and be missing. There are special doggy seatbelts and cat carriers should be used as well and secured to the back seat with the seatbelt.
4. Make sure you have a pet first aid kit. There are some great ones available for purchase, or you can assemble one yourself. Things to not forget: gauze, milk of magnesia (in case of toxin ingestion), hydrogen peroxide, nonstick bandages, adhesive tape for bandages, digital thermometer, eye dropper (or large syringe without needle), a muzzle, ear cleaner (which should always be applied after swimming to prevent ear infections), cornstarch (stems blood flow from minor cuts), antibacterial ointment, antiseptic cleansing wipes, kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol, mineral oil (a lubricant and laxative when given by mouth), leather work gloves (to protect you from being bitten), latex gloves, a leash, and a thin rope.
3. Consider where you are going and ask a vet about the diseases that are specific to that area that your pet could potentially contract. For instance, the NE part of the US is notorious for lyme disease, and if your dog isn’t on flea/tick prevention, they would be susceptible to this terrible disease. The south is ridden with mosquitoes transmitting heartworm disease. Although all pets should be protected against fleas, ticks, and heartworms, if you are skimping because you think your area is low risk, traveling to new areas requires you to reconsider. A simple talk with a vet can let you know if you need to do anything extra to prepare your pet for travel.
2. If your vet recommends a medicine to help calm your pet, make sure you try it out in advance when you can keep a close eye on them. The dose may need to be adjusted, as any sedative can have adverse effects. For instance, benedryl is commonly recommended initially. While it is effective for some pets, others it doesn’t even touch. Doses or even drugs many need to be raised or lowered. I would also stay away from the drug called acepromazine, especially for air travel. Fewer than five years ago it was routinely prescribed as a pet sedative for travel but there have been many deaths caused from it. Why risk it?
1. Make sure you have a way to get in touch with a veterinarian in case you do have a pet medical scare. Unsure if it’s an emergency? Before you drop hundreds to walk into the local e-clinic, consider professional online vet services, such as VetLIVE. VetLIVE vets are online 24/7 waiting to help you immediately and can give you tips on how to save hundreds at the vet.
Dr. Laci Schaible is a veterinarian turned pet health advocate. She practices with her husband, also a veterinarian, in Pennsylvania. In their spare time, they write for numerous pet publications.