Travelling With Your Pet
Taking your pet with you on holiday can be great fun, however there are more things to consider than just having the right documents ready. Here are some common adaptations our pets may need to be travel ready:
Pets can experience travel sickness just like people do. For some pets this is related to anxiety, so it is important to make sure your pet is used to car travel before undertaking a long journey. Stop regularly for fresh air and to give them the opportunity to eat, drink and go to the toilet. For cats or small pets, ensure you have a plan in place to do this safely and securely.
A small number of dogs experience true motion-sickness and will vomit on car journeys. Keeping them in a confined space without visibility out the windows can help; however, medication is also available. This is prescription only, so if you are concerned about your dog’s ability to travel comfortably, please speak to your vet.
Different countries have different parasites to the UK. While only tapeworm treatment is a legal requirement for certain countries, it is worth discussing your pets’ parasite prevention plan with your vet before travel.
Some potentially serious diseases are seen in dogs abroad that are not found in the UK, for example leishmaniosis is spread by sand-flies, and Babesiosis and Ehrlichia are spread by ticks. These parasite species are not found in the UK so additional parasite prevention is required, usually in the form of collars or spot-on treatments.
While we may look forward to some guaranteed sunshine, heat abroad is as dangerous to our pets as an unexpected heatwave at home. Make provisions to avoid your pets being out in the hottest part of the day and consider taking cooling mats or jackets. For breeds that struggle in the heat, such as pugs and French Bulldogs, avoid travel to very hot countries.
Just like us, pets can become unwell while travelling. It’s strongly recommended to find the details of a local vet before travelling just in case you do need them. Remember to check opening hours so you know who to contact if there is an emergency. Don’t forget, your normal practice in the UK will also be able to give advice over the phone, though they may recommend you see a local vet if the problem can’t wait.
Sudden changes in food can cause an upset stomach, so try to take enough of your pet’s normal diet to last the whole trip. Avoid too many treats and don’t let dogs drink sea water as this can also cause vomiting or diarrhoea. Pet first aid kits can be useful to treat minor injuries (cuts and grazes), and often include a tick hook to remove ticks safely.