Preparing to Travel With Your Pets

We all know pet medical emergencies don’t just happen at home. A few simple steps can better prepare you and your special traveling companion for possible illness or injury while you are away from your usual environment.

When traveling, be sure to have a small first aid kit for your pet similar to one made for home use. Another necessary item is diarrhea medication that is for use by animals. Your pet’s veterinarian can suggest a good medication for you to use. Be sure to bring medications that your pet may already be taking for an illness or existing condition.

Take with you the phone numbers of your veterinarian and the National Animal Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4235). In addition, it is important to get the phone number of a 24 hour emergency veterinary hospital in the area where you will be visiting.

Your pet needs to wear an ID tag labeled with your name, home address and phone number on its collar. Along with the ID tag, place a travel tag with information about where you will be staying while away from home.

A very important thing to consider is the correct size and type of pet carrier that you will need. Be absolutely sure to check with your airline for the carriers that they allow. Before buying a carrier for your trip, the first thing to consider is the size of the pet carrier you will need. The advice of your veterinarian or vet helper would be of great help in making your choice.

It is a requirement that your pet have available food and water within 4 hours before you check in with an airline. Since a full stomach might be uncomfortable for your pet during travel, vets recommend feeding him 4 hours before the flight.

While it’s best to not feed your pet immediately before your flight, you can give him water until the time of departure. Be sure to empty the water dish before checking in so it doesn’t spill during the flight. If you’re checking the pet for the flight, leave dishes in the carrier so an airline employee will be able to provide him with food and water in case of an extended wait before or after your flight.

Ensure your pet gets some exercise before leaving for the airport. Bring a leash with you so you can walk your pet before you check in and again after you arrive at your destination. Walking your pet will help him calm down prior to and after the flight.

Arrive at the airport early, but not too early. You won’t be allowed to check your pet in with the airline more than 4 hours before the flight. Most airlines recommend arriving 2 hours before your flight when you’re traveling with your pet. Passengers traveling with any pets are required to check in at the ticket counter. Curbside or self- service check-in will not be allowed.

Perform a daily physical health check on your pet while you are away from home. Contact your hometown veterinarian or a local vet if you become concerned about any health or behavioral changes with your pet.

Be gentle and loving with your pet. They will be stressed by the sudden change in their surroundings. All the new sights and smells could possibly be a sensory overload for them.

For more information about pet care, visit Emergency Vet Kansas City.

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