traveling with petsGoing on vacation can be a lot of fun, especially when you can bring your pet along for the ride. Leaving pets behind at a boarding facility can take away from the experience, causing you to worry about their wellbeing the whole time that they are gone. Many pet owners choose to take their pets with them when they travel, either by car or airplane, especially if the pet is particularly dependent on them in any way. However, there are things that you need to know about traveling with pets before you do and the best place to start is with a visit to your local veterinary clinic in Dartmouth. Your South Coast veterinarian can provide you with the information and services you need to protect your pet during travel.

Is Your Pet Good to Go?

Not all pets make excellent traveling companions. Your Dartmouth emergency vet can provide you with insight that will help you decide if this is a good idea or not. Your pet might not be comfortable with travel due to any health conditions or illnesses, injuries, mobility issues, age, or even temperament. You might worry that your small dog will miss you when you’re away, but the stress of travel – new places, people, smells, and experiences – might be even worse. If your pet is not good with traveling and you are concerned about how they will fare during a boarding experience, consider asking friends, family, and neighbors to care for them or speak with the South Coast veterinarian about other recommendations.

If your pet is good for traveling, the veterinary clinic in Dartmouth can provide you with all of the required vaccines, preventive treatments, and health certificates that may be required for your trip. Do your research and find out ahead of time what is needed for the airline, hotel, and location where you are going. There have been stories in the news about people taking specific dog breeds on trips with them and then finding out that the city, county, or state where they are going has laws against that specific breed. You do not want to risk having your pet taken by animal control because the laws are different where you are going. Taking pets across state lines and international boards can mean different documentation and other requirements, so it is essential to learn all you can before you go.

Identification and Microchipping

In case of emergency, you want to make sure that you can be reunited with your pet if they become lost during the trip. Current and up-to-date identification tags are a big help, but you should also consider microchipping. This simple procedure can help to improve your chances of getting your pet back, whether you are at home or traveling in another area. A tag is also included when you microchip your pet that identifies you and your pet to anyone that finds them, letting them know that a microchip is available for more detailed information. Anchor Animal Hospital is a veterinary clinic in Dartmouth that offers microchipping services. In fact, we highly recommend it to all pet owners whether they travel, or not.

This is a quick and easy procedure that can be done during any visit with our South Coast veterinarian clinic. If your pet ever does get lost, having a microchip can significantly increase the likelihood that they will find their way home to you. Animal hospitals, shelters, and animal control offers have access to scanners and will check first when they find a lost or roaming pet to identify them and you right away. At Anchor Animal Hospital, we use Home Again microchips, which include the first year of service in with the implantation fee. Make sure to keep your information up-to-date with the service and renew your service annually to ensure that your pet can be scanned, identified, and brought home.

Getting Started – Making Plans

If you are going to travel with your pet, start by scheduling an appointment with our veterinary clinic in Dartmouth. You should also contact the airline or travel company to find out about their requirements, speak with any accommodations during your trip, including hotels, motels, parks, campgrounds, marinas, and even friends and family that you might stay with on your journey. Not everyone is excited about having pets in their home, so you will want to clear that with them first. You can also contact the US Department of Agriculture, Animal, and Plant Inspection Service, Veterinary Services Division by calling 1-800-545-USDA to learn about state regulations if you will be traveling outside of Massachusetts.

You will want to bring contact information for your Dartmouth emergency vet, have a list of veterinarians and 24-hour vet services along the way and at your destination, and double-check all identification, travel ID tags, and medical records. Having a current copy of your pet’s medical records will help them to receive treatment faster in an emergency. Proof of vaccinations, such as rabies, which is required throughout the country, and a certificate of veterinary inspection AKA health certificate, is also a good idea. Some airlines will require additional certification, specific types of collars and leashes, crates, and safety gear, so make sure to ask. Schedule an appointment with your South Coast veterinarian at Anchor Animal Hospital by calling 508-996-3731. We can help you start preparing for traveling with pets and make sure you have everything you need to protect your pet during your trip.