Traveling with Pets: A Spotlight on Summer Safety

summer safetyThe dog days of summer have arrived, and for many families that means it’s time to hit the road (or take to the skies) for the annual summer vacation. If the thought of leaving your pets behind is unthinkable, your team at Berks is here to help you plan, prepare, and enjoy your time spent traveling with your pets.

What to Pack

Just like us, our pets thrive when they have both the daily essentials as well as a few comforts from home. Besides the obvious things–such as a leash, collar, carrier, food, and water, pack up your pet’s bedding along with a favorite toy or chew.  This will go a long way toward helping him or her to feel more comfortable away from home.

Planning for a pet emergency while traveling is also important. Be sure to bring:

  • A pet first aid kit
  • Any medications your pet is on, plus extra in case you are delayed in returning home
  • Your pet’s medical records

Where to Stay

Not all hotels, campgrounds, and homes welcome pets. Do your research ahead of time by contacting your prospective accommodations, both at your destination and along your route to inquire about their pet policies regarding breed, size, and temperament.

On the Road Again

Planning for your pet’s safety and comfort in the car is essential for a successful road trip. Keep the following in mind:

  • Car travel is thirsty work; keep your pet from overheating by offering plenty of fresh water.
  • Make frequent pit stops to allow your pet to stretch his or her legs, get a drink, and take a potty break.
  • Never, under any circumstances, leave your pet unattended in the vehicle. Temperatures can quickly rise to deadly levels inside a parked car, even when the car is in the shade with the windows cracked.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Air travel is notoriously stressful for pets, but you can alleviate some of that stress by finding a pet-friendly airline to fly with. Seek out a carrier with specific policies regarding transporting pets in a temperature controlled environment, with knowledgeable employees on hand at all times.

Animals that meet the TSA size requirement for traveling in the cabin will still be subject to screening prior to getting on the flight. Check out the TSA blog for more information on airplane travel with pets.

Traveling with Pets? Let Us Help

Make an appointment for a wellness exam prior to your departure to make sure your pet is current on vaccines and parasite prevention, and healthy enough to travel. If you are crossing state lines in a car or airplane, you will need to obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian prior to your departure. The sooner you start the process, the better.

From all of us at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center, bon voyage!