Travelling with a Pet

Travel Documentation

For entry to the USA from Canada your pet will require:

  • An up to date Rabies vaccination and vaccination certificate.  Streetsville Animal Hospital’s vaccination policy is to vaccinate with Rabies every 2 years.  If you are travelling with your pet in a year where your pet received DHPP and Rabies was not given, you will require a letter from us stating that it is hospital policy to vaccinate every other year and that your pet is up to date and protected
  • A health certificate stating that your pet is fit to travel and free of contagious diseases signed by a veterinarian.  These certificates are only valid to be used for entry into the U.S for 10 days and an exam is required before issuing one so please plan accordingly. You will not require a new health certificate to be issued for re-entry if your stay in the US is longer than 10 days

For countries other than the United States:

Each country has different entry requirements so it is up to our clients to do the appropriate research and provide us with paperwork to fill out in advance of your departure.  Some countries require Rabies titres, microchipping or deworming on a specific schedule so it is important to have all of these details worked out well in advance in order to accommodate a smooth experience.  Once you have all of the details and paperwork, we are happy to work with you to answer all of your questions, set up appointments and provide you with estimates for the services your pet will require.

Medication for Travel

One of the most common things we are asked in association with travelling is regarding medications such as sedatives or anti-anxiety medicine to help ease the stress of a trip.  There are some medications that are safe to use while travelling and some that we do not recommend.  These medications and recommendations are tailored specifically to your pet based on a number of factors including the behaviours they are showing, their age as well as the type and duration of travel.  We will work together with you to determine the best course of action to make sure that you and your pet are equipped for a smooth trip.  We often recommend trials with medicine before you leave so there will be no surprises about the efficacy of the medication on the day of travel.

Alternatives to medication:

There are also some over the counter products that can be used to help ease pets throughout potentially disruptive and stressful situations.  Feliway and Adaptil are products which contain feline and canine pheromones that can help calm pets when they are under duress.  They come in a variety of forms such as collars, sprays and wipes.  Although they may not always be as efficient as we would like, they are certainly worth a try, especially if medicating your pet is not something you are particularly comfortable with.

 Familiarize Yourself with Your Destination

Be familiar with routine pet protocols for the region you are visiting.  For example, we have many clients who travel to Florida during the winter months.  Fleas and heartworm are very prevalent and much more severe in Florida than in our Canadian climate so even though we recommend prevention from June to November only, it is recommended year round in the Southern parts of the United States. Therefore, we need to make sure that your pet will be protected during his or her stay.  The easiest way to get more details is to call an animal hospital in the region you are visiting and ask them for any information regarding preventive medications, common local diseases that are part of their routine vaccine protocols and for general recommendations they can provide you with for a pet that is visiting their area.

 Tips for Travel

Travelling by Car:

  • A carrier is the safest way to travel with a pet in the car.  This will help them feel safe and also prevent distraction or interference with the driver.  Make sure the crate is large enough so your pet can stand up and turn around but not large enough for excessive movement
  • Cats should have access to a litter box in their carrier for long trips
  • If it is a long trip, take frequent breaks.  Allow your dog to stretch out his or her legs and use the washroom if necessary.
  • Make sure your pet has access to water, especially during the summer months.
  • During the coldest and hottest months, ensure that your trip does not require any stops that will leave your pet unattended in the vehicle

Air Travel:

  • Always discuss requirements with your airline before travelling with a pet.  Because all airlines are different, policies vary so it is important to make sure that all of your questions are answered and requirements met before the day of travel
  • It is always best not to travel with large pets who are unable to stay in the cabin in extreme hot or cold weather, try to avoid this if possible
  • Call the airline the day before travel to confirm that you are bringing your pet with you
  • If your pet is too large to travel in the cabin and must travel in the cargo hold, make sure to clearly label your pet’s carrier with live animal indicators and line the carrier with an absorptive material that will wick up any accidents that may happen
Please let us know if you would like more information on any of these topics discussed or if you have any additional questions, we would be more than happy to help!
-Jennifer

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2017-03-17T16:28:46+00:00