Traveling with your Pet
Motion Sickness And Anxiety
For pets that aren’t frequent travelers, and some that are, motion sickness and anxiety can be big issues. Having a sick or anxious pet in the car can turn a pleasant drive into some miserable pretty quickly.
Fortunately, we can usually help with both of those issues. There are now very good drugs available to address motion sickness in dogs and cats. Anxiety can be a little more challenging as not all patients respond alike to anti-anxiety medications and sedatives. For pets with anxiety problems we recommend bringing them in several days (a couple weeks is best) prior to your planned trip. This way we can try an initial solution, and if it doesn’t produce the desired results, we have time to try a second option.
If you are traveling with your pet, whether inside the U.S. or internationally, we can help.
U.S. Travel (with the exception of Hawaii):
For U.S. travel, with the exception of Hawaii, we can provide a health certificate here in our office within 10 days of your travel date. An examination is required. Please keep in mind that if your pet shows any signs of a potentially infectious disease, we cannot provide a health certificate. If you are getting close to your travel date and are concerned about any potential health issues, let us know immediately so we can address them.
If you are traveling to Hawaii with your pet, then you should treat this as international travel and follow the advice below.
For international travel, please understand that the requirements for each country you wish to enter with your pet are unique to that country. In order to avoid lengthy (up to 6 months in some locations) government quarantine, some destinations (Hawaii, Japan, and the British Isles, to name a few) have very specific rules regarding rabies. Pets must be tested to prove adequate immunity and the results must be reported to the country of destination prior to your arrival. Some countries require certain types of dewormers or parasite treatments to be performed at specific time intervals prior to arrival. All of these requirements must be addressed before we can issue a health certificate.
Once an international health certificate is issued by us, you MUST take it and have it endorsed by Alabama’s USDA Veterinarian in Montgomery. They are open from 8 to 5 on weekdays only. Your pet cannot travel without this endorsement.
Contact Us In Advance Of Travel
Getting all the pre-travel tests and documents completed can sometimes take several weeks, and multiple visits. We recommend you contact us up to 2 weeks in advance to discuss domestic travel, and up to 6 months in advance to discuss international travel. This will allow us to provide you with the best service. We can certainly work with less time than that, but if you know you will be traveling those time points are not too soon to give us a call. If you do have to travel on shorter notice, we will do everything we can to keep you on schedule.
We understand the importance of including your pet(s) in your travel plans. We strive to have all requirements and documentation done in a timely manner to allow you to relax and have a smooth trip. If you have any further questions, or if you are ready to schedule an appointment to get your pet prepared to travel please contact us at 334-826-5100. You can also fill out our pet travel information form HERE. Direct any inquiries to Alex, our Pet Travel Coordinator. You may reach her by phone or email Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please keep in mind that having your pet loose in the car is not safe for either of you. We can hear you saying, “my dog loves to ride in my lap, and it’s never a problem!” Well, it’s never a problem until it is a problem and usually at that point it’s too late. We’ve seen patients suffer significant injuries when a driver has to stop quickly, throwing the pet onto the floor or into the dash. We’ve seen dogs that have ridden in cars for years suddenly decide to jump out of the window of a moving vehicle. If these pets had been properly restrained in a carrier a lot of heartache and expense could have been avoided. So please take our word for it – if you put them in the car, put them in a crate!
Statements Or Certifications Regarding Your Pet’s Behavior
Some airlines, hotels, etc., have started asking owners to have their veterinarian sign a statement regarding the pet’s behavior before they will allow it to fly or stay with the owner. We are not in a position to make any statements or guarantees about how your pet may behave or react in certain situations. Therefore, we will not sign such statements.