You have pets. Your parents have pets. Your friends have pets. Your siblings have pets. What are the chances that at some point during this holiday season, you will either travel with your pets or have a family member travel to see you and bring their pet? It’s great when everyone can get together for the holidays, but there are things that you must consider whenever you bring together pets that do not live with each other daily. Outsiders may not be welcome, and fights can ensue. What would you do if your pet was in an altercation with a family member’s pet? Make sure to always have your Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian’s number in your cell phone and posted at home. You should also know where to go for Dartmouth emergency vet services if they are needed.
Make the Journey More Pleasant
Whether you are getting there by planes, trains, or automobiles, take time to make sure that your pet is properly prepared. If you don’t travel a lot, start by taking your pet out for short drives in the local area and increase your trip gradually until they get used to longer car rides. Using a crate during travel can be beneficial not just for driving safety, but also to prepare the pet for travel by bus, train, or airplane. If you are going on a plane or train trip, bring your pet to the terminal before your trip so they can get used to the situation without the pressure of actually traveling. Sights, sounds, smells, and lots of foot traffic can traumatize a pet that is not prepared for the hustle and bustle of an airport or station.
Check to ensure that your pet carrier is “IATA approved” if you are using a crate. If you are buying a seat to have your pet stay with you, make sure that you speak with your veterinarian about calming medications that can make the trip easier for everyone involved. An anxious, barking and disruptive pet is an unhappy animal. It’s not just about everyone on board, but for the safety and well-being of your pet. Prepare all of the comforts your pet needs to relax during travel and speak with your vet about vaccinations and other preparation that should be made in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute. The more you can plan ahead, the easier it will be on you and your pet.
Check the Laws Regarding Pets – One of the things that pet owners need to be aware of is that there are different laws in various cities, towns, counties, states, and countries regarding pets. You do not want to take your pet to an area where it is illegal to have a particular species or breed. You also want to check on requirements for vaccinations, quarantine regulations, and microchip laws to help you find your pet if they get lost. Don’t overlook this critical step – it is necessary to protect your pet during travel.
Pet-Friendly Places to Stay
While there are now many hotel chains that allow pets with a small fee or deposit, there are still a lot that do not. Be sure that you know the pet policy of hotels, resorts, rental car companies, and rideshare programs before you make your plans. You do not want to get stuck paying for two hotel rooms because you pre-paid for a hotel that does not accept pets or get stuck paying for an expensive cab ride because the rental company does not allow pets in their vehicles. Ask about any rules or requirements at pet-friendly hotels in advance, just in case there is something essential that you need to know.
Even if you are staying with friends and family, there are things you will want to ask ahead of your trip. If the person has small children or other pets in their home, this is something that you will need to take into consideration. If your pet has issues with other animals or small children, you might want to find other accommodations. If something does occur that is out of the ordinary, you will want to have a crate or some safety option available to help protect your pet during your stay. Bring along all of your pet’s food, prescription medication, toys, bedding, collars, leashes, licenses, medical records, poop bags, and anything else you might need to have a successful visit.
Know Where to Go
Do your research ahead of time and know where to take your pet in the event of an emergency. For those traveling to the Southcoast area, see where the local Dartmouth emergency vet is located and contact a Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian ahead of time to find out if they take walk-ins or new patients during your trip. Preventive veterinary care with your home veterinarian is the best way to protect your pet during travel. If you are not the one doing the traveling but will be having guests in your home with pets this holiday season, do your best to think about accommodations for those pets in advance. Separate eating and sleeping areas from your pets and small children, as well as space for quiet resting away from noisy guests, can be beneficial in a visiting situation.
Coming to the Southcoast area or live locally and have guests coming? Contact Anchor Animal Hospital to learn more about our Dartmouth emergency vet and veterinary clinic services by calling 508-996-3731. We have served the Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island region since 1975, providing quality care, preventive services, and emergency services to dogs, cats, rabbits, and a variety of exotic pocket pets.