Travelling with your Pets – Tips from Dr Katrina
Your pets are part of your family and family holidays can definitely be more fun when your four-legged friends are invited along too! To ensure the whole family has a safe and healthy time, Australia’s celebrity vet Dr Katrina Warren has put together some tips to help you plan your holiday and be well prepared.
Ensure your pet’s records are up to date
Before your departure make sure your pet’s microchip details are up to date and that they are wearing an ID tag with a contact number that works where you are staying. This is the quickest way to ensure you will be reunited with your pet should they become lost.
Prevention, prevention, prevention
Prevention is better than cure and you don’t want a sick pet to ruin the family’s holiday feeling. Before you travel, check your pet’s vaccinations and worming are up to date and take your pet’s vaccination booklet with you on the trip. If needed, you should update your pet’s vaccinations one week prior to your departure. If you have an older dog, it is advisable to get a full vet check done before you leave.
You can find more information on dog vaccinations and dog vaccination schedules.
Your holiday destination may well harbour fleas, so apply a flea preventative before you leave and take your pet’s own clean bedding for them to sleep on.
If you are travelling to a coastal destination, phone ahead to the local vet at your destination and ask if paralysis ticks are prevalent in the area. Paralysis ticks are deadly and you need to start preventative treatment prior to departing for your holiday – often two weeks ahead.
On the road
When travelling in a car, it is important to have cats and small dogs confined in a crate and large dogs harnessed. This prevents them from becoming flying missiles, should you have an accident or have to apply brakes urgently.
Have regular toilet and water breaks. With cats, it is best to offer them a litter tray inside the car unless they are trained on a lead or harness. Cats are far more likely to bolt off in strange territory.
Make your pet feel at home
Pets will appreciate it if their new environment feels like home even when they are far away. It is a good idea to pack your pet’s regular food as you can never rely on being able to buy it at your holiday destination and a sudden change of diet may cause tummy upsets.
When you arrive at your destination keep your pet confined indoors. Many pets get lost on holidays and you can’t be too careful. With dogs, be sure to keep them on a lead for the first couple of days whenever you are outdoors. Please make sure your dog stays away from the local wildlife and if in doubt keep them on a lead. Cats should remain indoors at all times, unless they are familiar with walking on a lead.
Check local regulations and laws about pet ownership at your holiday destination, you will usually be able to find these on local Council websites.
Weather conditions at your holiday destination may differ from those at home. If it is cold, your pet may need a coat when walking outside, if it’s raining a rain coat may be a good idea.
Taking your pet’s bedding and toys will help them to feel at home very quickly.
Be sensible and safe and most of all have a wonderful break!
Dr Katrina Warren is one of Australia’s most well know veterinarians and is best known as the host of several popular TV programs, including “Harry’s Practice” and “Housecat Housecall”.
With her love of animals and passion for dogs, Dr Katrina aims to positively influence animal welfare and help owners get the maximum enjoyment from dog ownership.