Tips For Safe Summer Travel With Your Pet

By Dr. Veja Tillman, DVM

• Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date.

• Keep a copy (digital photos or paper) of vaccination records and or medical records with you while you travel with your pet.

• Pet identification

• Collars with ID tags and microchipping your pet are great ways to help reunite you with your pet should they get lost during your travels.

• Keep the car well ventilated.

• Good air circulation helps your pet regulate their temperature and prevents overheating.  Make sure that your pet has water available.

• Never leave your pet unattended in a closed vehicle. Designate a responsible family member to stay with your pet until you return.

• Pets get car sick too.

• Avoid car sickness by letting your pet travel on an empty stomach.

• Get your pet used to traveling in the car prior to your big trip by slowly introducing short rides in the car.

• Stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks.

• Never let your pet ride in the back of an open truck.

• This is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injuries or even death.

• Never let your pet ride with its head sticking out of an open window. This can lead to eye injuries.

• Do not change their diet.

• Keep a healthy supply of your pet’s normal diet while traveling. Changes in diet may cause your pet stress and upset their stomach leading to decreased appetite or diarrhea. So, stick to their regular diet and take a little extra just in case of travel delays.

• Fleas and ticks are everywhere.

• Don’t wait until you see a flea or tick to treat your pets. Make sure your pets are protected before you travel by using approved flea and tick control products.

• Be prepared for an emergency.

• Find the number for the nearest 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital in your travel area(s) and program it into your phone. IF there is a situation where you pet needs emergency care, you are prepared.


Dr. Tillman is a 2002 graduate of Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. Her veterinary practice and work experience focuses on health and wellness of pets in Southwest Florida. She is the owner of Just 4 Pets Wellness Center and can be reached at 239-270-5721.

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