Traveling by Car with your pet

Dog with car harness

Dog with car harness

Are you thinking of taking your dog or cat with you in the car on your next outing? Here are a few things to keep in mind. One of the first things to think about is keeping your pet safe and secure while driving. Your cat should be left inside their carrier. Your dog should either be crated or harnessed in the car. What you don’t want is your dog to become a projectile object. If you need to stop short by keeping them secure you are reducing the chance of injury to both yourself and your pet. Keeping your pet secure will prevent you from being distracted by your dog roaming around the car. What you might like to do is take your dog/cat on short “test drives” to get them (and you) use to traveling safely in the car.

We recommend that you do not feed your pets immediately prior to travel or while traveling. Even if it seems like a long time between meals. If you feed your pet 4-5 hours prior to travel they are less likely to vomit and get car sick.

We advise that your pet has a collar on with identification as well as a microchip just in case the unthinkable happens and your pet somehow gets away from you. It would also be a good idea to carry a copy of their vaccine status. If you don’t know where to find that information, please give us a call or go to your epethealth record.

Please do not forget frequent bathroom stops that allow your pet to get some exercise and stretch their legs. By releasing some energy at rest stops they will be more likely to be content resting in the car during travel. And lastly, NEVER, EVER leave your pet in the car unattended. On hot days even with a window open the car a parked car can turn into an oven.

Happy travels!

Fireworks and Thunder

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It is the Fourth of July- Fireworks abound, loud noises occurring perhaps for hours.  While we humans are oohing and aahing, too often our pets are frightened out of their wits. They’ll spend the holiday under the bed (or in the basement) cowering, shaking, drooling and seeking safety and comfort.

The best defense against Fourth of July problems is a good offense.  Please provide your pets with a safe hiding place inside your home during the holiday fireworks or a severe thunderstorm.  Dogs and cats who are comfortable in crates can find them a good place to ride out the noise, especially if the crate is put in a quiet, darkened part of the house.

The best thing would have been to have started “socializing” your pet to fireworks and thunderstorms ahead of time.  Of course, this may not be possible.  The optimal time to start would be when they are a puppy or kitten.  But don’t give up hope if your dog/cat is already an adult.  New behaviors can be learned.

One way to help your pet is to expose him or her to commercial recordings of thunderstorms or fireworks and play them at increasing volume. Play the recordings at a low volume initially while giving praise and treats.   As the volume and duration are increased during subsequent sessions, give them really tasty treats as well. Initially we suggest playing the recording for five minutes, eventually leaving it on during daily activities as “normal” background noise.

Another option for your dog is a “thunder jacket”.  It works the same way as swaddling a baby does, calming your dog.  The gentle pressure provides a calming effect.  Of course, some pets are so unhinged by noise that veterinary-prescribed tranquilizers from our office, Steinway Court Veterinarian are needed to keep them calm. Remember to call well in advance of the holiday, and give the medications as recommended — they usually work best before the rockets’ red glare begins.

Traveling with your pet

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go…….Traveling with your pet seems like a great idea but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.  Are you traveling by car or plane?  If by car does your pet get car sick?    Are you concerned that it might be too long a trip or perhaps the temperature might be too hot.  You should be concerned.  Good call.  This is the time to leave your pet home in a boarding facility, either at our office, Steinway Court Vet or someplace else that you feel comfortable with, knowing  your  pet will be safe.

Are you thinking that perhaps you can just sedate your pet?   Sedating your pet to travel is not ideal.  It may be appropriate some of the times, however only you and your veterinarian, Dr. Glasser can make that decision after careful thought and discussion based on your individual circumstances. 

Perhaps you are traveling by air within the continental  United States.  Some airlines required a health certificate for your pet to travel.  Every airlines is different.  YOU MUST CHECK.  Unfortunately, we cannot keep up with all the rules and regulations for every airline.  We recommend that you check with the airlines approximately 30 days before travel..  That should  give you enough time to prepare .  If you are planning on traveling over a holiday period, the earlier you begin to gather information the better. 

Traveling internationally?. Thirty days may not be enough.  Certain countries for example require your pets’ rabies titer to be done and sent to a very specific lab.( FAVN -a rabies blood serum test for pet travel to a rabies free country).  Awaiting these results can take up to six weeks.  You must beginning planning at least six months prior, maybe more.  When in doubt of the rules, please check with the consulate to the country that you will be traveling with your pet as well as the airlines that you will be using.  Each one is a bit different .  The last thing you want is for your pet to arrive at the destination,  only to be put into quarantine because something was not done as per your destinations request.  The Steinway Court Vet will help you in any way we can, however it is up to you, the traveler to ascertain what paperwork is necessary.   Our veterinary doctor  is  accredited by the USDA and can complete the required APHIS(APHIS-animal plant and health inspection service)  form.

Please check with the United States State Department as well.

We can not stress enough.  Please check, check and double check!

If traveling for a short period of time perhaps it would be best to leave your pet home with a family member, friend or trusted boarding facility.

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