Taking the family pet with you on a trip can provide some wonderful companionship. However, it can also present some challenges. The following suggestions should reduce potential problems:

Bring plenty of toys, food and water plus the necessary bowls.

For dogs remember a leash and a muzzle (you may want to take your dog somewhere that is off limits to non-muzzled pets).

Collars should have an identification tag with the pet's name, your name and phone number. The veterinarianís phone number on the reverse side of the tag is an excellent "back-up".

If you are traveling to a different state (especially by plane) make sure that the veterinary hospital fills out a Federal Transportation Certificate within 10 days of the date of departure.

Ask the veterinarian whether mild tranquilizer pills will help your pet travel easier. These are also helpful if your dog is prone to car-sickness.

If you are planning to stay at a hotel, confirm that they allow pets and find out if they provide outdoor kennels. Ask about any special deposits or additional fees that might be charged.


  • Before a long trip, give your pet some experience riding in a car. Start out with frequent short trips to get the pet used to the motion.
  • Provide a lot of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Make frequent stops to allow your dog to exercise and relieve itself.
  • Secure your pet with a leash when outside the car and don't rely on "coming when called". Also keep the pet leashed if you have the windows open. This will prevent the pet from jumping out or hanging out of the window and getting hit in the face by flying objects (bugs, stones, etc.).
  • Do not let a dog ride in the back of a pickup truck unless securely leashed (cross-tied is best) and the leash is short enough to prevent the pet from jumping out of the bed of the truck.
  • Never leave the pet in the car (even with the windows rolled partially down) while you go into a restaurant, shop, etc. Temperatures inside of a car can reach 160 degrees within minutes and the pet will quickly die.
  • If you are traveling with a cat make sure that you bring an extra supply of litter.


  • When you're taking your pet on an airplane make sure that those skies are as friendly as possible.
  • Never transport a pet younger than 8 weeks.
  • Don't travel with pets when the temperatures are below 40 degrees or above 80 degrees at either your departure city or destination.
  • Try to fly non-stop. Connecting flights (especially plane changes) can dramatically increase both the chances of your pet getting lost and also exposure problems relative to the weather (30 minutes in a cage on the hot tarmac of a busy airport can cause serious problems and the cold is no better).
  • Purchase a shipping crate approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and label it "Live Animal" in large letters on the top and sides.
  • Place your name, address, phone number and destination securely on the top of the crate.
  • Exercise your pet before kenneling him. Do not feed the pet for 6-8 hours before the flight to reduce vomiting and bowel movements during the flight.
  • Line the flight carrier with absorbent material (old towel, etc.).
  • For flights over 12 hours, put a plastic bag containing dry food on the kennel.  Include feeding instructions for airline personnel.
  • Secure the latch, but do not lock it. In an emergency, someone may need to get inside.
  • Don't put a leash in the kennel as it could accidentally get tangled around the neck.
  • If your pet will be traveling as carry-on luggage let the airline know.  The pet must fit into a kennel that will fit under your seat.
  • If your flight is delayed, let the crew know that you have a pet aboard.


Web site designed by Ed Acton for Tri-City Pet Hospital