Archived News

 Tips for Summer Travel with Pets*

May 24, 2004

Traveling with our pets (our four-legged family members) has become much more common. To make your pet’s trip as successful and positive as possible, we recommend the following:

1) Make your travel plans and schedule your pet’s reservations with the airline well in advance to insure space (in fact, not all airlines will allow pet travel)

2) Whenever possible book direct, non-stop flights

3) Check with your airline for animal transport protocol and ask questions (do they keep the cargo hold air-conditioned while the plane is on the tarmac?)

4) Get your pet used to an airline approved crate well in advance of the flight. This will help decrease his anxiety once the flight is underway

5) Attach a photograph of your pet to the crate, along with your pet’s name and local and long distance contact people and their phone numbers. (It is a good idea to give at least two numbers, one in the area where the flight is originating, the other in the area of destination). If you have a cell phone, make sure to include that number as well

6) Keep copies of medical records (rabies certificate, license, health certificate and a list of any medications your pet takes) and a photograph of your pet with you

7) Stay with your pet as long as possible before he is boarded onto the plane. Once you are boarded, make sure to let the flight attendants know that you have a pet on the flight!

8) We advise against the use of tranquilizers for pets traveling in the cargo area. Tranquilizers decrease your pet’s ability to regulate his own temperature which may cause heat stroke (warm weather) or hypothermia (cold weather)

9) Make sure your pet has a name tag on her collar with at least two phone numbers (origin and destination, including area codes). We also recommend having a microchip implanted to act as a permanent method of identification. Check with your veterinarian about this safe, quick procedure

*These tips from Dr. Gina Davis of the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital provide general information about animal health. We absolutely are not able to give medical advice via the internet, e-mail, regular mail or the telephone. If you have specific questions about the health of your pet, please consult your veterinarian.