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Traveling with Your Pet

When leaving on vacation, many pet owners opt to leave their pet behind at a kennel, with family or friends; however, you should know that you can often take your pet with you. Traveling with your pets allows them to experience new sights and smells, averts separation anxiety, and prevents you from worrying about your pet while you’re away. Before traveling with pets, be sure to check local regulations regarding pet travel and safety. Also confirm that the places you will be staying (hotel, friend’s house, etc.) allow pets. Make sure you have your vaccine records and travel documents with you, and traveling pets have proper identification tags on their collars,  and a microchip for added safety,

Airplane: Each airline has different regulations regarding pet travel. Some airlines allow small pets in the cabin when kept in a carry-on, others do not. Most airlines require a certificate of health and proof of vaccination dated within 10 days of your flight. We recommend that pets traveling in winter months travel midday, and in the early morning or late evening during summer months. It is also recommended that you purchase a non-stop flight which does not change planes. Most overseas destinations will require a USDA certificate. The following requirements apply for most major airlines: 

  • Pets need a current Rabies vaccine and travel documents from your veterinarian
  • Crates must meet airline regulations and be appropriately sized for your pet
  • Crate should be lined with absorbent materials in case of pet accident
  • Attach an appropriate water container inside of the crate.
  • Crate should have contact information labeled clearly on it along with a current photo of the pet and the owner. 
  • Pet should have proper identification on collar. 
  • Pets need to be secured in a bolted crate. 
  • Trim your pet’s nails to avoid catching on crate openings.

Car: Traveling by car is one of the most common ways pet owners travel. For pets accustomed to car rides, travel is fairly easy on both pet and owner. Pets will need a comfortable area to lie down, frequent stops for exercise, and ventilation via windows. Be sure to bring your pet’s leash and an adequate supply of food and water for the trip. Please be very cautious about leaving your pet alone in the car, or allowing access to a fully open window. If you are traveling with cats, we suggest that they remain in a small crate which allows more security than being allowed to roam the car. If your pet does not travel well, please ask us about medications to decrease your pets stress during travel.


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