Traveling with Pets: Tips for Travel Healthcare Professionals

If you are traveling with a pet on a healthcare assignment, the most important thing you can do is plan ahead.

Cats are affected much more than dogs by a change in environment. Their behavior may change abruptly with a move. A more aloof animal may suddenly become friendlier, and vice versa.shutterstock_407893192

If your cat has not had much experience with a carrier, it’s a good idea to get the animal acquainted with it before you move. Put it out where she can crawl around and into it. Put her favorite blanket or toy inside it, so she gets used to going inside and feels comfortable in there.

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If you are traveling by car, and your dog has not had much experience riding in a vehicle, get her used to the experience as well. Take the dog for short trips in the car, so the pet gets used to it before the big trip.

On the day of the move, put your cat or any other small animal in the carrier, and keep your dog in a room of the house or in the backyard. Do not put the animal in the caruntil you have loaded up everything else.

The carrier for small animals should have a hard side, with enough room on each side for ventilation. Some veterinarians recommend covering the carrier with a blanket for a few hours initially to keep the animal calm.

Dogs should be kept under control as well. There are safety harnesses that you can hook to seat belts that allow the animal to sit or stand. There are also safety gates that give the dog even more room.

Pack a bag for the animal. Put some of their favorite treats in it, as well as a gallon of water because there are regional differences in water quality. Cats can usually go for eight to ten hours without needing a litter box, but you may want to bring along a disposable one in case of emergencies or for an overnight trip. Also, include a pet first aid kit and extra towels for unforeseen circumstances.

Put a temporary ID tag with your new address and telephone number on your pet’s collar.

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