This time of year, thousands of families hit the road to spend the holidays with loved ones. Many people choose to bring their pets along for the festivities, while others prefer to leave their furry friends in the comfort of The Pet Resort. Both can be great options, And whatever you decide, we are here to help you prepare. First, you’ll need to create a basic packing list.

Your pet packing list

If your pet is joining the family excursion, you’ll need to pack her essentials. Whether she is traveling by land or by air, don’t leave home without the following items:

  • Food, water, and treats to last the entire vacation
  • Vaccine and other health records
  • Medications and preventive drugs
  • An appropriate travel carrier 
  • Poop bags
  • Towel or blanket
  • Portable water and food bowls 
  • A couple of favorite toys
  • Secure collar, leash, and updated ID tag 
  • A recent picture, in the event your pet goes missing

Will you be traveling with your pet by air?

No matter where you are headed, whether another state or an international destination, if you plan to fly, your pet will need a certificate of health signed by a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-accredited veterinarian. In most cases, the health certificate needs to be signed within 10 days of travel, but you will need to confirm that with the state or country of your destination. Some states have extra requirements, such as up-to-date flea and tick prevention or certain vaccines. Check the USDA website for further information about pet travel requirements. 

In addition to sorting out the geographical logistics, you will need to contact your airline. Most of the time, small pets who fit into a soft, airline-approved carrier can sit under the seat in front of you during the flight, whereas larger pets must be placed in a suitable container in the plane’s cargo area. Your individual airline will guide you on policies and requirements, but ensure you plan in advance. Once your pet is ticketed and confirmed, scope out the airport pet relief areas and plan for potty breaks and playtime. 

Or by car?

If you are planning to cross state or country borders, your pet will need a certificate of health as described under air travel. Check your destination’s requirements for further information here. However, if you stay in your pet’s registered state on your holiday road trip, no documentation or health certificate is necessary, although it is still a good idea to bring along basic health and vaccine records. A few other tips for car travel with pets include:

  • Use a secure carrier or harness to protect your pet in the vehicle.
  • Plan for frequent potty and play breaks.
  • Never leave your pet in a hot car.
  • Many pets experience motion sickness, so ask your veterinarian about potential remedies.

A special note about international or out-of-state travel

International airlines and customs security often have strict rules regarding pets, food, and other goods traveling between countries. Do your homework well before you leave, so you know what to expect. Some information you may need includes:

  • Information on quarantining
  • Health certificate requirements
  • Policies regarding pet food
  • Breed restrictions
  • Other necessary paperwork

Remember that different geographical areas pose various risks to humans and pets. Ask your veterinarian if any additional vaccines or preventive medications are recommended for your destination area.  

Have you decided to board your pet?

We are thrilled to welcome your beloved pets to The Pet Resort for your holiday travel needs. Planning to board your feline friend? Visit our blog post on how to prepare your cat for boarding before the big day. Call us today to set up a tour, make a reservation, or if you have any questions about our facility or services.