Summer is flying by and there are only a few weeks left before the start of the school year, it’s time for the last summer holidays. Traveling with pets has its benefits, they become part of your family and make outdoor activities like hiking, camping and fishing a little more fun, but it’s important to remember that it adds a few extra challenges. .
Plan ahead: Many hotels, Air B&Bs, and campgrounds allow pets, but may require prior knowledge, proof of vaccinations, pet fees, or deposits. Ask when booking or call the company if you are booking online to ensure you are not surprised while on vacation. Make sure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations and flea and tick medications before traveling. A current rabies vaccine is required to cross state lines and you may be asked to show proof of this vaccine. We recommend that you take a photo of your pet’s rabies certificate and vaccination history and keep it on your phone or in your digital cloud so you can access it when you travel if needed.
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Be responsible and respectful of other visitors: poop bags and leashes make better neighbors. Nobody likes stepping in fresh, smelly poop while walking in the dark, so clean up after your pet and dispose of the bags in an appropriate trash can. Don’t let your dog near other pets unless you have their owners’ approval. Not all dogs enjoy meeting other dogs in the same way. Even if your pup is friendly, poor interaction can result, and depending on where you’re vacationing, emergency veterinary services can be expensive or too far away. Keep your pet on a leash unless you are in an area where off-leash access is permitted. This is for the safety of your pet, but also for the safety of the critters that inhabit the area, including squirrels, small birds, rabbits, possums, raccoons. Some may even be endangered species and result in fines and citations if your pet were to injure them or chase them away.
Plan to bring food and water from home: some dogs won’t drink tap water while traveling because it tastes different and they can’t sip a soda or sweet tea instead , it is of the utmost importance that we ensure they have safe, clean and fresh drinking water throughout your travels. Changing diets can also cause gastrointestinal upset, so bringing their food from home will help the trip go smoothly!
Pay attention to the temperature: heat can be deadly in many ways, do not leave your pet unattended in an enclosed vehicle or trailer, even a “dog box” or kennel in the back of a pickup truck can become deadly in the extreme. the heat and humidity that we see in Nebraska. These temperatures and heat indexes can be even worse depending on where you are traveling. Have a plan for your pet during the hottest hours of the day, plan activities in the shade, if there is water available to splash near the shade, definitely choose it!
Prepare a small first aid kit to travel with you for your pet: just like a first aid kit for humans, a few minutes of preparation can save your life when traveling. We recommend having a kit with the following supplies.
1. A zipper leash – many vet practices offer these to their clients as free marketing!
2. Gauze, non-stick bandages, ace wrap, coban and duct tape.
3. A travel bottle containing hydrogen peroxide, soap and antibiotic ointment
4. Regular Benedryl, Diphenhydramine without additives, before travel, check with your veterinarian for the dosage based on your pet’s weight and write it on the bottle. This may be necessary in case of allergic reactions or collisions with biting insects.
5. Saline eyewash, bottled water
6. Tweezers, nail clippers and a towel or blanket large enough to put under your pet and carry around
7. If your pet is on medication, you should also pack an extra week in this first aid kit and ask your veterinarian if there are any other additions you should have based on your pet’s specific health issues . For example, diabetic pets should also travel with honey, nutrients or a high calorie treat.