(210) 681-8333

When you are planning a vacation that includes your four-legged family member, there are some things to consider. Accommodations, safety while traveling, and security throughout the duration of your trip.

Ten Tips for Before the Trip

From planning your vacation to purchasing the right travel equipment, these tips can help you to be well-prepared for traveling with your cat or dog.

1. Be sure to microchip your pet before you depart for your destination to secure your pet’s identity and track them if they are lost.

2. Make sure that their collar includes proper identification. A tag imprinted with your name, phone number and any relevant information, as well as a temporary contact number (such as a hotel and room number) should be attached to the collar.

3. Verify that all vaccinations are up-to-date, and they have been health-checked by the vet. Keep a record of these with you.

4. If you are traveling by air, book direct flights to reduce the chances of your pet spending extended time on the tarmac or being mishandled by baggage personnel during a layover. Whenever possible, if the pet is small enough, have them ride under your seat with you in the main cabin.

5. For travel outside of the continental United States, additional planning and health care requirements may be necessary. Contact the foreign office of the country you are traveling to for pet requirements, quarantines, etc.

6. Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate (required by airlines). The crate should clearly indicate that a Live Animal is inside and your include contact information. Choose a crate that is large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably. Make sure the crate door is securely closed, but not locked, so that airline or emergency personnel can open it.

7. Even if you are not flying, a sturdy crate will come in handy at your hotel room or other accommodations.

8. Make sure your hotel room or rental allows pets. Check for breed and size restrictions.

9. Bring a photograph of your pet should they be separated from you for any reason.

10. If planning to travel a long distance by car, prepare your pet by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening the time spent in the car.

When you arrive at your destination after being separated from your pet, bring a treat for when you retrieve them. Gently soothe your dog or cat as they are likely to be very anxious.

Four Tips for Car Safety and Your Pet

Here are a few car travel safety tips to help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable trip with your pet:

1. Secure your pet. If you are not using a crate in the car, don't allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. Always keep them in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle.

2. Prepare a pet-friendly travel kit. Bring food, a bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid, and any relevant documents. Pack a favorite toy or blanket to help soothe your pet.

3. Feed your pet a few hours before beginning your trip, so they are not starting on a full stomach. Be sure they have enough water.

4. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become hot enough to cause a fatality, quickly. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

At the Hotel or Rental

When you get to your destination, spend time with your pet in their new environment to help them get comfortable. If you have decided to bring your pet with you on a trip, then you have chosen to make them a part of the vacation. Find nearby pet-friendly activities to include them in your vacation or holiday.

Call our San Antonio Veterinarian to Learn More or to get Your Pet Ready for Travel

At Pet Medical Center of San Antonio, Dr. Scott Weeks can check your four-legged family member and assure they are fully vaccinated and ready for travel.

Pet Medical Center of San Antonio

7811 Mainland Dr.

San Antonio, TX 78250

Phone: (210) 681-8333