For the last six years, we have made the trek south to Florida in October, and north in May. Our trip planning starts weeks in advance. One of our most important check off lists for each journey is preparing for the needs of our pets and making sure we have everything we might possibly need during the trip and for later at our destination.
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Chronic Medical Conditions
If your pet has any chronic medical conditions, always carry their medical records. It’s important to have copies of your pet’s immunization records, proof of rabies vaccination, and license. Always remember to carry extra supplies they might need on the trip.
If your pet is on medications, be sure to carry enough for your trip. If you run out of medications after you arrive at your destination, it is easy to set up a mail order account with Chewy . I find them to be the easiest mail order network to deal with. After you have set up an account, request a new prescription. Chewy will personally contact your vet and mail the medication to your address. It is so quick, and so easy. I love them.
Emergency Veterinarian Offices
Map out all the emergency veterinarian offices on the way to your destination. This way in case of an emergency, you are ready to act. The American Animal Hospital Association and the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care provide listings of Veterinarians and 24 Hour Emergency Hospitals along the way to your destination.
Establish care with a local vet in your travel area in case of any illnesses or emergencies. By transferring your records between your two vet offices, both vets will have all your pet’s personal medical information. One of our veterinarians emails lab results and new vaccinations to our other vet, whereas, our other vet will fax pertinent medical records. This helps to ensure our pets are always up-to-date on their immunizations and lab work.
Flea and Heart Worm Protection
Discuss with your vet your plan for flea and heart worm control as recommendations vary in different regions in the United States. We didn’t even think to give our dog his regular flea protection our first winter in Florida. We were so used to not providing flea and heart worm protection each winter in Maine, we didn’t think otherwise. In late February of that first year in Florida, our dog developed a contact dermatitis above his tail. We were appalled when he was seen at the vet and were told he had a case of fleas. Since then, we have always given our pets year round protection from fleas and heart worm control.
Security And Safety
Safely secure your pet in the vehicle in case of any quick stops or motor vehicle accidents. I have read where a favorite pet has either died during an accident, or run off and hid, scared. For their protection in the case of an emergency, all cats and small dogs are better off in a carrier. Larger dogs can be secured in a vehicle pet harness. There are many options available. Chewy has several choices to pick from and each selection offers reviews from pleased or disappointed customers. Also included in this specific Chewy site, are convenient items to purchase that could be helpful on the long trip ahead.
Identification and Chip Registration
Each pet should have a collar with an ID containing information on how to contact you if for some reason they became lost. Also remember to register your pet’s microchip with accurate information in case your pet is lost or stolen. Keep all your contact information up-to-date if anything changes. Some people have upgraded their pet’s simple collars and tags to a GPS system for peace of mind. I have never purchased one for my dogs but have listed here several types of GPS collars for your pet. Some can be an expensive investment, but if they help keep your fur baby safe, it is a wise purchase.
First Aid Kit
Don’t forget your First Aid Kit. It is especially important to carry vet-approved over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl, non drowsy antihistamines like Zyrtec, Neosporin, and hydrocortisone cream for your pet in case of any emergency. We also carry canned pumpkin which is good for upset stomachs. Always check with your veterinarian ahead of time for proper dosing for your pet as many medications are weight-based. Some medications can also react with others, so again, please check with your vet before giving any medications. It is also important to keep the National Animal Poison Control number: 888-426-4435 in your phone in case of an accidental ingestion or other potential poisonous substance contact.
I like this First Aid Kit as it has plenty of supplies readily available for your pet and there are some you can use for your family. Traveling with your pets can be stressful, but with proper planning in advance, it can be an enjoyable adventure.