Have Lead, Will Travel
It’s around this time that we start heading off on our summer holidays and some of you may even be taking your pet along with you.
Long journeys and being in a strange place can cause anxiety for pets so it’s important to be prepared and make sure they are as comfortable as possible.
Top tips for travelling with your pet:
- Other areas may have differing health threats, eg. dogs in certain locations may be more prone to contracting Leptospirosis, so it is important to keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date.
- Walk them beforehand so they won’t have too much nervous energy for the journey.
- Is the place where you’re staying dog-friendly or just happy to take them? Make sure you’re aware of precisely what your dog is and isn’t allowed to do and where they can go on the premises.
- If your pet seems stressed by the idea of a journey, try an Adaptil collar. These are designed to relax your dog through the use of pheromones.
- Check the location and phone number of your nearest vet before you go. It will prevent lots of panic in the event of an emergency.
- Make sure they’re microchipped! Imagine how difficult it might be to get a lost pet back hundreds of miles from home. Similarly, make sure your contact details are up to date and take some photos of your pet in case you lose them.
- Take a familiar blanket and their favourite toy with you
- If your pet isn’t used to car journeys, take some trial journeys first. This will get them used to the car and let you know if they’re likely to get car sick!
- If possible, take a crate or bed with you. This will give your pet a safe spot to retire to in an unfamiliar environment.
- Keep their routine and timetable the same as much as possible, eg. food times.
- Make regular rest stops and take your dog out on a long walk once you reach your destination.
- Keep water and a collapsible bowl handy – pets can dehydrate quickly in a car, even with air-con on.
When you arrive, take your pet on a long walk to explore and let them run off some energy. This controlled introduction to a new location is essential in establishing boundaries for the duration of your stay.
Taking your pet abroad:
If your pet is going abroad with you then there are certain legal obligations you have to meet. This is primarily to allow your pet re-entry to the UK.
This means that your pet will need:
- A microchip
- A rabies vaccination
- A pet passport
- Parasite treatment
- To travel with a registered carrier on a registered route
Be aware that your pet could be exposed to dangers not found in the UK. For example, there are a number of parasites in Europe such as Heartworm that your pet will need protecting against.
It’s important to remember there will be differing requirements based on whether you are going to a listed or unlisted country. You can check your destination on a full list and find more comprehensive information on pet travel regulations here: https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/overview
We hope you and your pet enjoy your summer holidays!
If you have any issues or queries regarding travelling with your pet, please give your local Medivet practice a call by using our online practice finder.
Posted July 18, 2014
in Seasonal Care
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