Traveling with Pets

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Many healthcare professionals are traveling with their four legged, furry or feathered pets. After a long day at a new facility, it’s comforting to come home and see that familiar face. Traveling and adjusting to a new place is not only stressful to the traveler, but to your pets as well.

Over the years I have traveled with several of my dogs and had some great adventures. Along the way there were some learning lessons too. Hopefully you can benefit from my experiences and use these tips when traveling with pets:

  • Keep a copy of your pets most current vaccination records with their recent picture.
  • Keep an emergency contact list including vet information.
  • Keep your pet safely secured with a travel harness or crate. This will also reduce distractions for you.
  • A few toys can go a long way.
  • Make sure to have all the supplies they will need: food, water, medication, bowls, etc.
  • An extra leash can be a life saver.
  • Always call and make reservations ahead of time at pet friendly hotels; websites aren’t always right.
  • Check airline and rental car pet policies ahead of time.
  • Familiarize your pet with car rides. This will help to reduce anxiety for everyone.
  • Teach your dog to exit the vehicle on command.
  • Make a pet first aid kit.
  • Be prepared for bad weather.  Pack some towels, poncho (for you), and any needed medication.
  • Bring their bed. This will help a new place seem more like home.
  • Microchip your pet. If they become lost this will help the rescuer get them back to you.
  • Make sure your pet has proper ID tags. The tags for our dogs list our phone numbers and the vet’s.
  • When walking your dog in a strange place, make sure it’s safe for everyone and pay attention to their body language.  If he is too scared, try again later someplace else.

I always keep travel bowls, clean up bags, proof of vaccination, and a first aid kit in my truck. Even if you are just taking a short ride around town, it’s best to be prepared.

Here are some helpful websites for traveling with your pet:

Pet friendly housing:
http://www.petswelcome.com/

http://www.tripswithpets.com/

http://www.bringfido.com/

Make your own pet first aid kit:
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pet_first_aid_kit.html

http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/veterinaryqa/f/FirstAidKits.htm

 

Debbie Grollmess works as an Account Manager in the Nursing Division for Aureus Medical Group.

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