Tips for holiday travel with your pet

Travelling and your pet

As a pet owner, there is a lot to consider when planning a holiday. Should you leave your pet at a boarding facility, arrange a pet sitter, or even bring them along with you?

Whichever option you decide, ensure your pet is up to date with the following:

  • vaccinations
  • heartworm prevention
  • flea and tick prevention
  • intestinal worming
  • microchip details

Travelling with your pet can be an exciting adventure. Our team share our top tips to consider before you take a trip with your four-legged friend.

Research your destination

When planning your holiday, learn about your destination and accommodation. Check that your accommodation includes secure fencing and search for access to dog-friendly spots such as beaches, parks and walking tracks. Don’t forget to read local council regulations and make sure you have the contact details of your closest Greencross Vets and after hours emergency centre. Give the local Petbarn or Greencross Vet a call to learn more about parasite control required for the area (especially if there are paralysis ticks) and learn about local hazards such as poisonous snakes or sea life in the region.

Update your details

Check that your pet’s microchip details are up to date and that you have a pet ID tag with your contact details. Don’t forget to include your mobile phone numbers and emails in case your pet wanders off during your travels.

Travelling in the car

Get your pet ready for car travel well in advance. If your pet is a bit anxious, they may also become nauseous in the car.  If your pet is drooling, panting, yawning or trembling they may be uncomfortable. Start with very short trips, praising them when they show calm, relaxed behaviour. As they improve, progress to longer trips. If you have a pet who dislikes car trips, you can get them used to the car environment by feeding them treats or their meals in the car while it is parked – make it fun and slowly but surely build them up to the travel experience . Praise them when they show calm, relaxed behaviour.  Here are some additional tips for all pets:

  • Don’t feed your pet for approximately 4-6 hours prior to travel but water is fine
  • Plan regular, short breaks for your pet to get out the car, ensure they have fresh water
  • Ensure there is plenty of fresh air (open the windows or an air vent)
  • Remember that pets have sensitive hearing so limit loud music while travelling

The friendly team at your local Greencross Vets are here to help, give them a call for individual advice.  There is a dog appeasing pheromone product called Adaptil that works for mild anxiety, or medications for more severe anxiety which are generally available at your vet after a consultation.  For pets who get motion sickness, there are effective anti-nausea medications available, contact your vet for more information.

Travel safety

It’s important to ensure your safety and your pet’s safety while on the road. Unrestrained pets are distracting to the driver and are a potential dangerous projectile if the car suddenly swerves, stops, or is involved in an accident.  Cats or small dogs should be placed in a secure carrier and seat belt harnesses used for medium or large breed dogs.  Place animals on the back seat or cargo area if you have a wagon, never the front passenger’s seat due to airbags. Pets shouldn’t be allowed to stick their head out of the window due to the risk of injury especially to their eyes. Remember, many states have introduced hefty fines for pets who are not secured safely in the car.

Leaving your pet at a boarding facility

There are some excellent boarding facilities that promise to look after your pet when you go away. Do your research, read testimonials, and even visit the facility before making your choice. Always make sure your pet is up to date with vaccinations and parasite prevention. Most boarding facilities will require evidence of this.

Getting a pet sitter

Pet sitting is a great option for your pet to feel comfortable at home while you’re away. Cats are especially happier in their own space, so a stay-at-home sitter is perfect for them. There are so many pet sitting services available, it can be hard to choose. Many services offer profiles of their sitters with testimonials and references. Sometimes, you can arrange a meet and greet with a potential sitter. Do your research and choose a reputable company.

We hope you enjoy travelling with your pet and arrive safely! These tips will have you feeling cool, calm and collected. Enjoy the journey!

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