Vet Blog

4 Tips for Traveling with a Pet

October 26, 2016

Are you planning a trip somewhere with your canine or feline companion this winter?

Traveling with a pet can be fun, but it can also be stressful if you're not prepared. As pet owners ourselves, the team at Pell City Animal Hospital wants your pet to be safe and happy during your trip. That's why we've provided the following tips for traveling with a pet. Whether you'll be driving or flying to your destination, consider these tips so you both can have a safe, peaceful journey.

Know the Airline Fees

If you'll be flying with your pet, make sure you know what the additional costs are. For most airlines, the fee is usually around $100 each way to bring your pet in the cabin with you. You can find this information on your airline's website or by calling them. Most airlines require that you book your pet's flight when you book your own, so keep this in mind as you do your planning. Ask about the cancellation policy, too, in case you decide not to take your pet along at the last minute.

Make Sure Your Pet Has ID

Whether in the form of an ID tag or a microchip-or both-your dog or cat should have sufficient identification when you travel, in case they become separated from you. If your pet isn't already microchipped, Pell City Animal Hospital in Cropwell offers microchipping to provide your pet with a permanent form of identification. Having a recent photo of your pet handy is also a great idea for when you travel.

Choose Your Pet Carrier Wisely

If your pet will be traveling in a carrier, choose one that's both comfortable and spacious. Keep in mind that all airlines have dimension limits for pet carriers in the cabin, so if your furry friend will be your carry-on, make sure the carrier doesn't exceed these limits. Although there are soft-sided and hard-shell carriers available, a soft-sided one is best for air travel (cabin), since it allows for more flexibility under the seat.

Expect the Unexpected

From forces of nature to injuries, anything can happen during your trip that can put your four-legged friend in danger. Always pack an emergency kit that includes basic first aid items when you travel with your pet. It's also a great idea to get familiar with the emergency veterinarians near your destination. Make sure your pet's vaccinations are updated, too. Some airlines also require a health certificate before allowing your pet on their plane. Check your airline for their policy before booking your flight to avoid any surprises. If your pet's vaccinations aren't updated, or if a health certificate is required, schedule an appointment at Pell City Animal Hospital.

And if, for any reason, you decide that traveling with your pet is NOT the best choice, remember that Pell City Animal Hospital offers boarding for dogs and cats. If you have questions about these travel tips or would like to book a visit, give us a call at (205) 884-4104.