The holidays are officially upon us and for many pet owners. That means packing up the car and heading out of town to spend time with friends and family. These are tips if boarding your pet at a kennel or having a pet sitter isn’t an option. There are some important steps you can take to ensure your pet’s safety while traveling by plane or by car. Our staff at Animal Medical Center know how important it is to consider pet travel safety. Here are some useful tips to keep your pet safe this season.

5 Tips for Safe Pet Travel During the Holidays

The holidays are often hectic; to begin with and it’s not always easy traveling with pets. However you can make the experience more enjoyable for everyone by following these steps to ensure your pet’s safety.

Update your pet’s tags and information. Perhaps the most important thing you can do before traveling with your pets during the holidays is making sure their tags are updated with their name and your correct contact information. If they were to get lost in an unfamiliar place, this could significantly increase your chances of getting them back safe and sound.

Steer clear of sedatives. Many pets get anxious when they see their owners break out the suitcases and start packing for a holiday trip, especially older pets. Many veterinarians recommend that pet owners avoid sedating their pets for travel. They do this if they have a long plane ride ahead of them. It is said that sedating can decrease their ability to thermo-regulate and it may not do anything for their anxiety. It may even make them more anxious by feeling like they can’t move. Your best bet for pet-friendly travel is to talk to your veterinarian at AMC. Each pet is a different case in this matter, and doseages play a role also.

Make sure you are prepared for plane travel. Taking your pet on a plane requires advanced planning, including purchasing an airline-approved pet carrier, making sure your pet’s vaccines are up-to-date and getting a pet health certificate from your veterinarian. It’s recommended to update your pet’s vaccines at least two weeks before traveling if they are in need. That way, their body has enough time to build up that immunity against these issues.

Get a proper pet seat belt for your car. Even if you aren’t planning to board a plane with your pet this holiday season, there are still steps you can take to make sure driving with your pet is safe and comfortable for everyone. Most importantly, pets need to be properly restrained with a pet seat belt. A seat belt is not only for their own safety.  They don’t pose a dangerous distraction while you’re driving. You should also make sure your pet is comfortable long car rides by having plenty of fresh water. You must be able to stop for a bathroom break when needed.

Pack your pet’s favorite belongings. If you plan to stay in a pet-friendly hotel during the holiday, be sure to pack your pet’s bed, food and water bowls, some toys and anything else that will help him feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar place. He will already be out of his routine being away from home and being surrounded by his own things. This may help him feel less anxious or confused.

Contact Animal Medical Center for Help

Celebrating the holidays with loved ones can be a joyous occasion, but it can also be stressful if you don’t take the proper steps to ensure a safe and comfortable voyage for your pet. To learn more about safe pet travel during the holidays, contact Animal Medical Center to speak to our experienced veterinary staff about the best ways to keep your pets safe.