Traveling With Your Pet

A vacation can be fun for both you and your pet but it’s important to know the responsibilities that go along with it.

Planning and Preparation: you need to consider your pets comfort when they are traveling with you. A car sick pet can make for an awful trip not just for your pet but for you as well. Unfortunately if your pet is ill or has a physical impairment they may not be able to handle the stresses and conditions of traveling. Should this be the case, you should consider using a reliable pet-sitter or a pet stay facility with your veterinarian. Remember to make sure that your pets are welcomed where ever you are staying before you begin your travels, because some friends, hotels, parks and campgrounds do not allow our furry friends. With the chance that you might need to leave your pets alone you should consider taking a portable kennel with you to use inside the hotels and homes you will be staying in. A friendly tip use a “Do Not Disturb” sign and let the front desk know when you’re leaving your pets alone in your room. Make sure your pet has a current tag, microchip and/or papers. Check your pets grooming, and make sure it has plenty or toys. Keep in mind your pet will get hungry and thirsty so have plenty of dishes and bowels. If you are crossing states or international borders be prepared with proof of vaccines and current health certificates. Lastly check with your veterinarian to ensure that all required vaccines and records are current at least one week before your travel date.


Traveling by Plane: here are a few guidelines to make your trip less stressful. First note that Federal regulations state that a pet must be no less than 8 weeks old and weaned a minimum of 5 days before the time of the flight. A health certificate (no older than 10 days) and a valid rabies vaccination certificate must be present in order for a pet to be permitted on the flight. It’s best to contact the airline ahead of time to inquire about any specific requirements and regulations. Secure your pet’s reservation and do your best to book a nonstop middle of the week flight. There is a “right time” to fly during specific climates. If the weather is warm chose early morning or late in the evening flights, however if the weather is colder chose a midday flight.


At the Airport: Arrive early allowing your pet time to get some exercise. Take it upon yourself to personally place your animal in its crate and immediately pick it up upon arrival. Do not take your pets on escalators leashed, this could be very dangerous.


Transport Crates: most airlines will have these available, call ahead to ensure they do, if not you can get one at your local pet shop.

A safe and convenient crate should:


1. Be spacious: your pet should be able to stand up, turn around and lie down without touching the top of the cage.

2. Be strong: your pet should not be able to break out or tip over.

3. Not have any dangerous interior parts: your pet should have to worry about the interior part of handles or grips.

4. Be leak-proof: the bottom of the crate should be secured with absorbent materials.

5. Be familiar: get your crate in advance so that your pet will feels safe and comfortable in the crate it has been in before.

6. Be labeled: you want your name, phone number, home address, and destination contact information clearly printed. It is also very important that “Live Animal” with arrows indicating the upright position be visible on the outside of the crate.

7. Be ventilated: you don’t want the air to be blocked so the crate should be ventilated on opposite sides with edges facing outward.


Last important tip, make sure to consult your veterinarian about instructions on how much and when to feed your pet the day of your flight. Most often it is recommended to fly your pet on an empty stomach. However your vet will need to consider the time and distance of your flight along with your pets regular dietary routine, age and size.


Traveling by car: first decided if your pet is already accustomed to traveling in a car, if not start taking it for a few short rides to get it prepared for your trip. If you have a cat it should be kept in a cage or crate to ensure they feel secure. This will also keep you from having a frightened feline under your feet while you are driving. With cats stick to your regular feeding times, leaving their main meal for the end of the day and know that dry food will be more convenient while traveling. For any and all pets it is important to take along a good supple of cold water. Remember to keep the water and food portions small. Take a leash and plan to stop every two hours for them to exercise.


Important Tips:

1. As much as your pet might like it do not let them ride with their heads outside the windows. They run the risk of getting injured or catching an infection from dirt, dust, and other particles that can enter the eyes, ears, nose and mouth.

2. Leaving your pet in the car: make sure you’re parked in a shady area with the windows open just wide enough to provide ventilation but not wide enough for your pet to jump out or get their head’s stuck. Secure that the doors are locked and be weary of weather conditions. Never leave your pet in a parked car if the temperatures are too high or too low.


Traveling by bus or by train: typically in most states pets are prohibited from travel on buses or trains. However exceptions can be made for guide and service dogs that are accompanying blind or disabled persons. To inquire about these restrictions contact your local carriers.


Your Pets and Camping: camping can be very fun for both you and your pets but remember there are environmental elements that can cause serious dangers. Be wise with your pets because they run the risk of being bitten or injured by skunks, raccoons, porcupines, snakes, insects, poisonous plants and a variety of wildlife.




About Kelly's Animal Hospital

Kelly’s Animal Hospital is a full-service veterinary medical facility, located in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The professional and courteous staff at Kelly’s Animal Hospital seeks to provide the best possible medical, surgical, and dental care for their highly-valued patients.

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150 NW Central Park Plaza

Port Saint Lucie, FL 34986



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