Pet safety

​Pet Travel & Boarding

Summer vacation
Winter and spring breaks

These are the terms that folks associate with traveling. It’s great to connect with friends and family but not everyone may be able to join in your travel plans. Some pets can handle trips but others are not as tolerant. Be sure you plan your travel carefully and be choosy about which trips your pet might also enjoy. 


1) Be sure that you bring your entire pet’s medical records and any medications, food, and supplies that they will need. Also be sure that you pack a first-aid kit and their favorite toy and blanket to make them more comfortable.
2) Always be sure that your pet is wearing an ID tag on their collar. In addition, you may want to get a microchip. A microchip is the best form of ID as it’s permanent and as long as you keep your information current you have a much better chance of getting your pet back safe.
3) Be sure that you know where the closest vets are located and find out which might be a 24 hour vet for emergencies.
4) Be sure that you research your hotels carefully if that’s where you need to stay. Not all hotels allow pets and though some do, there may be a fee per night per pet added to your bill.
5) Make sure that if you are staying with your family that they are aware of the fact you are bringing your pet and that everyone is on board.

Car Travel

1) Keep your pet safe by keeping them in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. Be sure it’s big enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in.
2) If your pet is too big or your car is too small to fit a good sized crate inside, fit 
your dog into a car approved harness to prevent choking and tie your dogs leash to something fixed inside the car. Usually tying the leash to a seat belt will prevent them from flying off the seat should you get into an accident.
3) Don’t allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. It may seem as though they are enjoying this but this can cause serious problems such as inner ear damage, lung infections, and can even be injured by flying objects.
4) Try to void feeding your pet while you’re on the move. You may even consider skipping meals prior to the car ride. This could make them car sick and give them stomach problems if it’s time to eat, stop somewhere, feed, and allow at least 30 minutes for the food to settle before taking off. You may also want to consider giving a smaller amount of food so it doesn’t upset their stomach.
5) Be sure that you have enough water with you to last the length of your trip.
6) It might be a good idea to slowly help your pet get used to traveling in the car before going on a long road trip. Take them on short drives around the block and then gradually lengthen the time spent in the car.
7) Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. On a hot day, even with the windows down and in the shade, the car turns into a furnace which could cause heat stroke. In the winter, a car can become a refrigerator which causes hypothermia. In some cases, both of these situations could result in death. Animals have also been known to be stolen out of vehicles.​

Air Travel


1) Air travel is very stressful for any pet that’s forced to fly. Before even thinking about taking your pet on to a plane, talk to your vet about your pets and their needs and if air travel really is safe enough for them.
2) If your vet thinks your small pet would do okay if they are in a carrier and can be placed under the seat be sure that they are comfortable and that the carrier is well ventilated. If they don’t think that they are ready for that kind of travel, ask about other options to get them to their destination.
3) Be sure your pet’s vaccines are current on everything. Bring all your health records with you as most airlines require these records before boarding.
4) Make sure your pet has ID through an ID tag on the collar or a microchip. This is especially important if your pet is forced to fly in the cargo compartment. Be sure that your pets USDA-approved shipping crate has information on it and travel destination in case you become separated from them.
5) Try to book a direct flight. This will decrease your risks of loosing your pet.
6) Make sure your crate or carrier has “Live Animal” written on it and place arrows to indicate which way are up. Also be sure they have a blanket, towel, or shredded paper to absorb any accidents they may have during the flight. Also keep a photograph of your pet with you during your travel.
7) If on a long flight or you have a layover you couldn’t avoid, freeze a small dish of water the night before you leave so it can go in the crate but not spill. Also tape a small pouch of dried food outside the crate if the airline allows it.
8) Some pet owners feel that tranquilizing your pet is better than not. It’s not generally recommended as this can hamper their breathing, cause vomiting, or bowel movements. Check with your vet first to see what they recommend.
9) Be sure that all airline employees are aware of your pet in the cargo hold.
10) If there is a delay or you have concerns about your pets’ welfare, alert the airline staff and ask them to check on your pet. They may decide to remove the animal until they have a better idea of their take off status.

Finding a boarding facility

Some travel might be too much for your pet to go out with you. Instead, think about sending your pet to a recommended pet boarding facility. Check to see if they have tours and interview the right place that you think would be best for your pet. Be sure to call the facility early to make your boarding reservations. A lot of people plan vacations at the same time and boarding facilities can get booked very quickly.

​If you believe that your pet will be overly stressed from all of the holiday activities, you may want to consider boarding them at a facility that you feel comfortable with.

1) Be sure that you go ahead of time. Take a tour whenever they offer one to check for cleanliness, temperature, and comfort level.
2) Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they have no unresolved complaints.
3) Make sure that all pets that stay there are current on their vaccines.
4) Ask about their exercise and enrichment time while your pet is there.
5) Be sure that there are both indoor and outdoor areas that are secure.
6) Chat with the staff to be sure that they are knowledgeable and compassionate about working with pets.
7) Ask about their feeding routine and be sure they have special forms in place in case your pet has special needs, such as medicine.
8) Most important: they should ask for all the information you can provide about your pet, their needs, and emergency contact information.

These are just a few ways to make sure your pet will be comfortable and happy during their stay.

During any time of the year, be sure that you are taking precautions both inside and outside of your home when it comes to the safety of your pet. There are several natural and home grown plants that can be potentially harmful, poisonous, and even deadly to pets.

Click here​ to find out which plants are toxic and which are safe for your pets.