Small Animal Hospital Charlottesville

Wellness Care for Pets

Pet Travel Tips

Traveling with your pet can be stressful for you and your pet. Planning ahead is key to a successful trip. If your pet is older, please consider whether your pet would be better off at home with a pet sitter or boarded nearby. Make sure that your pet is physically able to travel. If you are traveling abroad, contact Old Dominion Animal Hospital to make sure you have all the forms necessary to avoid your pet ending up in quarantine.

You may want to have your pet micro chipped before leaving on vacation. Eighty percent of lost animals who are not micro chipped are never reunited with their owners. Also, be sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification. If your pet has health issues or is on medication, please talk to us at our Charlottesville vet clinic before you travel to be sure you have enough medication to last during your trip. Take our number (434-971-3500) with you. Our veterinarians are happy to answer any questions that might come up while you're gone.

You will want to purchase a pet carrier, depending on your pet's size and how you will be traveling. Purchase a carrier in plenty of time to get your pet used to being in the crate. It may take weeks to get your pet used to being caged, if it is something new. Get a carrier big enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably. You may want to reduce your pet's anxiety by placing blankets or pillows from home inside the carrier. Make sure the carrier can be locked securely. Write your name, your pet's name, your address and phone number directly on the carrier in black permanent ink. (Don't just attach a name tag, it will fall off.) If you are flying, please check with your particular airline to see if your pet will have to travel in the cargo hold or may be allowed in the cabin.

Be sure to take along food and water dishes, your pet's favorite chew toys, treats, and of course your pet's regular food. Changing your pet's diet under any circumstances can cause stomach upset, so if you are traveling, it is especially important to keep things as normal as possible.

For cats, remember the kitty litter and never let your cat run free. Purchase a harness and leash if you are going to take your cat outside in an unfamiliar area. Even in the car, pets should be left in their carriers or secured by a harness. Pets can be injured or thrown from the car during an accident. If you are driving, please make sure your air conditioning is working and never leave your pet out in the car in the heat!