Will you be traveling with your pet this year?

According to a survey of pet owners by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), more than 53% of dogs and cats will travel with their owners this holiday season.

Did you know that of the 4 major travel choices that Americans have, pets are not allowed to travel on half of them. It turns out that pets are prohibited from traveling by bus or train in most states.

Actually….I prohibit myself from traveling by bus or train in most states.

Anyway….it looks like that our friends will either be flying the friendly skies or rolling down Route 66 with us during our time away from home. In both cases, there are many simple things that you can do to insure your pet’s comfort and safety during the trip.

First, make sure that your pet has proper identification.

This can be something as simple as an ID tag on the collar. A more permanent solution, however, is having a microchip implanted.

Next, make sure you have copies of vaccination records and needed medications easily accessible during the trip. You might even ask your veterinarian for a recommendation of an emergency hospital near your destination.

And finally, do your homework. Some airlines and travel sites may require a health certificate for your pet. This document must usually be dated within 10 days of the start of your travels.

Now .. many owners are very worried about the safety of their pets in flight and during boarding procedures.

According to the website, www.dryfur.com, the majority of accidents and injuries that happen to pets are the result of poor quality carriers or kennels. So preparing the kennels for travel is a must.

And for those owners who have contemplated sedation for their pets, the answer is NO!

The AVMA, and the American Humane Association both agree empathically that sedation during flight is a risk pet owners should not take.

Traveling by car may be less complex than air travel, but due to the longer time frames, owners need to plan rest stops and exercise times for their animal companions.

Keep a jug of fresh water in the car to avoid times when reliable water sources may not be available. Pets will travel better with small amounts of food and water in their system frequently rather than allowing the pet to eat his or her normal ration.

When you reach your destination, be sure that you are aware of pet-friendly hotels and campsites in the area. There are many sites online that can help you find lodging that allow pets. At www.petswelcome.com, over 25,000 hotels and other locations that allow pets are listed.

So, as the busy travel season gets underway, remember that many problems and potential injuries can easily be avoided with a little bit of preparation and homework. Be sure and talk with your veterinarian about your pet’s special travel needs and what he or she recommends for traveling.

Remember “Happy Tails equals Happy Trails”.