Many of us enjoy bringing our pets along on vacations and road trips. There are some important factors to keep in mind for safe and fun travel with your furry companion. Although some pets truly seem to enjoy driving or flying, others may be nervous, anxious, or prone to nausea. Proper pre-trip preparation and consultation with a veterinarian can help make the journey enjoyable for everyone. In many instances, a health certificate must be obtained prior to departure, and in some cases, medications for motion sickness and or anxiety may be recommended.

If your pet requires a health certificate or a prescription medication prior to travel, you must call to schedule a physical exam for him/her. A health certificate states that your pet is relatively healthy and free from communicable diseases. The date of the last (current) Rabies vaccination, along with the manufacturer and serial numbers of the vaccination will be listed, as well as any other pertinent vaccination information, fecal test results, and/or heartworm test results.

Some airlines require acclimation certificates as well, if they cannot guarantee compliance with animal welfare regulations. Federal regulations limit the exposure by cats and dogs to temperatures below 45 F to 45 minutes during transfer between holding area and aircraft, and to four consecutive hours in the terminal holding areas. The acclimation certificate should certify that the pet is acclimated to temperatures lower than 45 F. We recommend that the pet be maintained at a temperature within his/her thermoneutral zone, or that you avoid airlines that cannot comply with animal welfare regulations. Besides concern over excessive cold or heat during air travel, other dangers include poor ventilation and airflow, and noise from jet engines.

Have your pet microchipped. A microchip is a safe, simple and permanent form of pet identification to immediately identify lost pets and quickly reunite them with their owners. The microchip is injected under your pet’s skin over the shoulders. Each chip contains a unique barcode (much like those seen on products in stores). The chip is gentle to the tissues, and does not cause a reaction to the body. When a scanner is passed over the pet, the bar code is read. The Pet Recovery Network will supply information on the pet with that barcode, and this service is available nationwide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The owner is responsible for keeping information current with the Pet Recovery Network. All veterinary hospitals, shelters, and rescue groups have scanners.

Please plan ahead and use precautions with your pet to ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure!

Call today to schedule a physical exam and/or health certificate for your dog or cat. 916-965-8200

“I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.” -Hippolyte Taine (1828-1898)