Summer is here in Vancouver. It’s the best time of the year and many of us are packing up and heading on vacation. For pet owners who plan to take their pets along for the journey, a little extra planning and forethought is needed.
Always give yourself some extra time when you travel with a pet. Everything takes a little longer from car rides to air travel. A good rule is to double the time you think it will take. If you’re going to the airport, be there 4 hours before instead of two. If you’re driving to Seattle estimate 6 hours instead of three. Give yourself and your pets a break every 2-3 hours.
It may seem a little extreme but it will reduce your stress levels and make everything more enjoyable for both you and your pet.
If you’re traveling by car, make sure you buckle your pet up. It’s essential you keep them safe in case of an accident. It doesn’t matter if you prefer a seat harness or a secure pet carrier, protect yourself and your pet from serious injuries every time you get in the car.
Many pet supply stores sell harnesses that can attach to the seat belts so your pet can buckle up safely. This prevents them from jumping around the car, or falling in the case of an accident. Smaller dogs and cats can actually feel safer in a crate when travelling in a moving vehicle.
A lot of hotels have pet friendly rooms but you should make sure you call ahead and make a reservation. These rooms are limited and you don’t want to put a damper on your vacation by not having a place to stay.
Also, you have no control over other pets that have been in the hotel rooms before you. Protect your pet against fleas and diseases. You don’t want them to get sick on vacation. Make sure your pet is up to date with vaccines and bring along flea shampoo, just in case.
You should also bring your pet’s veterinary records with you in case a border guard or customs official asks to see them. They can also be critical in the event of an emergency. Along with a paper record, you might consider taking along a USB drive with all relevant information. This will make it easier for a veterinarian to access all necessary information.
Shade and Water
Provide ample amount of shade and water to keep your pet happy and hydrated. Pets should have a full water bowl at all times and should be refreshed often. You wouldn’t drink stale water left out in the sun and your pet shouldn’t have to either.
You’ll need to watch your pet closely for signs of dehydration and overheating. Panting followed by disorientation and heavy breathing, or a dry mouth could signal your pet is too hot. For a cat, watch for any heavy breathing and a redness in their tongue and mouth. Overheated pets can suffer heat stroke and even die as a result.
Now that summer is in full swing, it’s important to have fun, take some time off but you need to ensure that your pet is safe and happy.
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