Dog traveling in car.

Summer is the perfect time of year to escape and enjoy some time traveling. For many people, summer vacation means bringing along all members of the family, including pets! While traveling with pets can be fun, you must also be prepared to keep your pets safe and comfortable on the trip. 

The team at Clairmont Animal Hospital has put together this list of pet safety tips to keep your pet happy, healthy and well-cared for while traveling this summer:

Pack the Essentials 

Before you even leave for your trip, you will need to make sure you’re prepared with all of your pet’s must-have items, such as: 

  • Collar with ID tag 
  • Leash and harness 
  • Enough food for the days of your trip, plus an extra day or two to be safe 
  • Any medications your pet may need 
  • A bowl for food and water
  • Water for your pet 
  • First-Aid Kit 
  • Waste bags 
  • Important documents— including rabies, health, and international certificates if needed for air travel or crossing state or international borders 

Car Pet Safety 

Just like you want all your human passengers to be safe, it’s important to take the safety of your pets into account when traveling by car. Consider purchasing a car safety harness and seatbelt, to keep your pets secure in the event of a car crash. Another option is to travel with your pet in their crates or carriers, which are also secured down to the seat or the back area of your car. This way your pet won’t move or be thrown if you are involved in an accident or must stop short. 

Beware of Hot Cars 

When is an appropriate time to leave your pet alone in a parked car? The answer is never! It is important to take your pet into account when determining your rest stops and food breaks, so your pet is never left alone in a parked car. 

Even if the weather seems nice outside, temperatures inside of a parked car can climb dangerously high in a number of minutes. This could put your pet in serious danger very quickly. The risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke is high and can potentially result in death. The best way to avoid this is to never leave your pet unattended in a parked car. 

Traveling by Air 

Check with your airline for specific rules and regulations for flying with your pet during the summer. Whether your pet is flying in the passenger area alongside of you, or in the temperature-controlled, pressurized pet-only cargo area of the plane, it’s best to schedule a pet wellness exam with your veterinarian first to make sure your pet is healthy enough to travel by air. 

It is very important to follow instructions for the proper handling of your pet, or for crate size and materials needed for pet travel. This may also include restricting your pet’s food before the flight, and keeping the crate clear of blankets or toys that could be potential choking hazards on the airplane. Also, is it not recommended to give your pets sedatives before their flight in the cargo area, as this could restrict their breathing while in the air.  

Each airline has different rules, and some of these may even change during the summer months. For example, some airlines will not let pets travel in the pet-only cargo area of the plane if the ground temperature at the departing airport is above a certain temperature. Some snub-nose or braceachpasdfalk breeds may also be restricted from flying due to potential troubles with breathing and heat. 

Questions about your summer travel plans for your pet? We’ve got answers and advice! Contact the team at Clairmont Animal Hospital at (404) 633‑6163 to schedule a pet wellness exam and get your pet ready for a happy summer vacation.