East Side Animal Hospital has put together one of the most comprehensive guides on domestic and international pet travel. Use this as a starting point to plan your pet’s next car or plane trip and as a gateway to all the pet travel information you need.
International Travel and Travel Across State Lines
No pet is to travel across state lines or internatlonally without a health certificate from a U.S.D.A accredited veterinarian. East Side Animal Hospitalhas U.S.D.A accredited veterinarians on site that can assist you with planning all aspects of your pet’s travel internationally or domestically. Pet owners planning on taking their pet internationally should review requirements for travel at least 6 months in advance of departure as some countries have rather strict requirements that must be started a considerable amount of time in advance of travel. There are three resources that all pet owners interested in traveling with their pet should use: The American Animal Veterinary Medical Association website, the APHIS website of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the East Side Animal Hospital Guide to Travel. The links are below.
Scope Out Where You Are Going
If you are traveling by air, you should acquaint yourself with pet relief areas in airports. Airports with the very best pet relief areas include Denver, Minneapolis, Atlanta, San Diego, Washington Dulles, Charlotte, Philadelphia International, and JFK which boasts one of the most luxurious pet relief areas in America. At a cost of 48 million dollars, the JFK pet terminal was built in response to the some 70,000 animals that travel through JFK annually! Keep in mind that pets that check in for international flights may or may not be able to be walked at U.S. connecting flight ports.
Most airlines have restrictions on pet travel if outside air temperatures are too high, but you too should do your homework, especially in the case of international travel, to determine if your pet will be in cargo during especially hot times of the day. Best practice is to plan for flights that land during the evening if the area to which you are traveling is prone to high temps. If your pet has a short nose (known as a brachiocephalic breed), then he or she is more sensitive to high temperatures. Check with our East Side veterinarians for ways to keep your brachiocephalic pet safe while traveling.
Get Your Pet Microchipped!
Without question, all pets that travel domestically or internationally should be microchipped. Microchips are safe, non-reactive, and the best way to find your pet should he or she get lost, but keep in mind that these devices are not GPS devices. Unfortunately, East Side does not know of a reliable GPS monitoring device for your pet. If you have had a good experience with a GPS pet locating device, please share it with us in the comments section below.
The Right Sized Crate
Buy a secure, sturdy travel crate that permits the pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down in a natural position. Leave the crate out during non-travel times so that your pet can associate it with a safe, comfortable place to relax in.
Sedatives and Car Sickness Medications for Pets
Certainly there are a number of medications that can lower your pet’s anxiety levels while traveling or prevent him or her from getting car sick, but each patient is unique. Remember that sedative use should not be taken lightly. Administered incorrectly, sedatives can kill pets during travel. Please talk to us about your pet’s needs and we’ll help you to make the right decision.