15 Tips for Safe Pet Travel

by Ali Oaks | December 26, 2022

January 2nd is National Pet Travel Safety Day and in celebration we’ve got tips to help you prepare for a successful trip with your pet.

Get those vaccinations up to date: Your pet should always be up-to-date on their vaccinations, but especially if you plan to travel. Vaccinations will keep your pet from picking up illnesses on the road – and keep your trip on track. Depending on where you are traveling there may be specific vaccination requirements. Consult your veterinarian a few months before your trip to make sure you get your vaccinations early enough.

Know the details about your destination: Wondering what kind of pet travel requirements your destination has? Look no further! FlyWithMyPet.com has all the details you need about the requirements of your destination and the site can help you find a veterinarian that offers pet travel documents to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch.

Check the ID tag, and check it twice: If your pet doesn’t typically wear a collar with an ID tag, get them one. Double check that the information on the ID tag is correct before you go on your trip. If you’re traveling internationally, be sure to include the country code on your phone number, and list your mobile number instead of your home number.

Buckle up: You wouldn’t get in the car without a seatbelt – neither should your pet. Get a pet carrier that is large enough to accommodate your pet on a long trip. Place a blanket or low profile pet bed inside the carrier to make sure your pet is not bumping around on a hard surface during your journey. Place their favorite blanket or toy in the carrier with them to make them more comfortable. Finally, secure your pet carrier so it’s not sliding around in a trunk, posing safety risks to your pet.

Bring the essentials: Plan where you’ll stock up on the essentials when you reach your destination so you’re not scrambling around when you arrive. We all know that the best laid plans sometimes don’t pan out. Flights are delayed. Car problems happen. Make sure you bring enough food, water, and litter to accommodate for unforeseen hiccups. There are great pet travel bags you can get to store all the essentials.

Don’t get lost in transit: Sometimes ID tags get separated from pets. Make sure you microchip your pet before your trip. Consult your veterinarian as far in advance as possible about your planned travel dates. Certain travel destinations have rules about how far in advance the pet must be microchipped, or about the order in which pets must be vaccinated/microchipped. Your veterinarian will know what to do.

Be prepared for accidents: Accidents happen. Don’t leave home without a pet first aid kit. You can either buy a pre-made one or use the guidelines from the AVMA to make your own.

Fine pheromones: Not all pets are comfortable travelers. If you know your pet is prone to anxiety, get some pheromones to help ease their stress. Begin administering pheromones 2 weeks in advance of your trip to make sure your pet has had enough time to feel the benefits. Pheromones are available in sprays, infusers, and collars. Pick the product that works best for your pet. Compression shirts and vests can also help ease anxious pets.

Identify local veterinary care: Find a veterinarian near your destination. You probably won’t need them, but if there is an emergency you’ll be happy that you’ve already done the research.

Keep your health certificate on hand: If you're traveling by air or internationally, make sure you’ve got your pet’s health certificate on hand. Print two paper copies and keep a digital version on-hand too.

Take breaks: Take frequent breaks to allow your pet to stretch their legs and move around. Long travel days are tiring for people and pets alike!

Feed small meals: While it may be your inclination to feed your pet a large meal before your journey, this can result in motion sickness. Feed smaller meals throughout the day to prevent motion sickness.

Take a test trip: If you’re not sure how your pet will react to travel – take them on a test trip around town or to a nearby destination.

Items you’ll need at your destination: Don’t forget about the everyday things you’ll need at your final destination like a leash, sweater if you’re traveling somewhere cool, or booties if you’re traveling somewhere hot. Check out this essential list of things to bring while traveling with your pet.

Prescriptions: Pack any medications your pet regularly takes, as it may be difficult to find a refill when you're traveling

Good luck on your next trip–stay safe! For more information about pet travel requirements for your destination, or to find a veterinarian who can help you with your pet travel health certificates, visit FlyWithMyPet.com.