Your PetPassport© provides fingertip access to information you might need to know in the event your pet becomes lost or ill while traveling.
In the 21st Century, pets have become more than just animals living in our homes and keeping us company. We take them everywhere with us.
We take them with us when we are hiking in the Rockies, canoeing on the Colorado, kayaking in the Pacific, surfing in the Atlantic or snowshoeing in Lake Tahoe. Now, more than ever before, our pets can come with us. With that freedom comes some additional responsibility for you the pet owner.
FOUR things to remember when traveling with your pet:
- Your PetPassport©
- Provide Secure Pet Lodging
- Take Extra What?
- Pet Health Certificate
The PetPassport© is FREE! Click the image below to access the form.
First and foremost complete your PetPassport©. It is the simplest thing in the world to do. Then just slip it in your pocket, purse or glove compartment. You will have it with you at all times. You can give one to your dog walker, dog sitter, groomer, kennel or handler.
This document provides you and anyone who has responsibility for your beloved pet with important information for the care of that pet in the event of an emergency. What if you or your pet get lost, become ill or are injured while on vacation? This single document provides everyone with the ‘peace of mind’ that everything will run smoothly because they have the tools to make it happen. All you will need to do is concentrate on the recovery from whatever befalls man and beast.
Once your PetPassport© is completed, store it on your computer; add any pets you may subsequently acquire immediately when they join your household. Everyone should update the PetPassport © yearly with current information and reflective pictures.
Provide Secure Pet Lodging
When you are traveling with your pet, be it by train plane or automobile, where you keep your pet makes all the difference in his comfort and safety. A Pet Secure Lodge can be anything from a soft-sided Sherpa or harness to a hard wire or airline crate. It is the place your pet can escape to as your small niece and nephew drive him nuts or, in the event of an accident, will keep him safe, sound and hopefully unscathed. If you are totally against crates try the new pet seat belts. They may keep your pet in the car in the event of an auto incident.
As a dog show exhibitor, I never travel anywhere without my dogs in crates. I know, on those 1000-mile trips to a dog show weekend, many roadside mishaps can occur. I come prepared with a crate for my dogs to sleep in while I am driving. It is the best form of protection if something should happen to the car.
If you are traveling by plane and the dog is small enough to come aboard use a well-ventilated Sherpa bag to keep him in his place while on board. Remember, other passengers may not share your love of pets or may be highly allergic. Respect other people’s space and their sensibilities. That way everyone gets to his or her destination safely.
If you are staying with family it is always a good rule of thumb not to assume your pet can roam freely. Even if you have this discussion before you arrive bring the Pet Lodge along, just in case your pet needs it to get away or is unsure!
Back to Planes, Trains and Automobiles! They get delayed, breakdown or are involved in accidents. What happens to you and your pet if you’re delayed getting to your destination or leaving your destination? Always plan two extra days on both sides of your travel window to assure you and your pets remain safe. This includes:
1.) Four extra days food
2.) Four extra days of Medication (if necessary)
3.) Extra Leashes
4.) Bottled water from home or purchased.
5.) Extra bedding
This may sound intuitive or silly. However, it is easier to retrieve human needs when stuck somewhere unintended than things for your pet. If you feed your pet strange food or water, your pet is likely to develop a stomachache and all that that implies. The last thing you want is a pet with a sick belly! Better to be prepared than be sorry.
Always bring extra leashes and collars. At the least opportune moment you will not be able to find the leash or collar or worse they will break. Make sure you take at least one extra collar and leash and remember to either move the identification information and reflective tag from one collar to the other or have separate ID tags and reflector on the back up collar.
I cannot stress enough the need to bring either bottled water from home or buy it on the road. My dogs are road warriors yet they only get bellyaches and the resulting bowl issues when I forget and give them local water. They may be able to eat anything and never get sick but for some reason water can be a trigger. With the advent of bottled water this fix is easy and eliminates the resulting possibility of a belly disaster!
Pet Health Certificate
Today, more and more states are requiring proof of vaccination for pets traveling on their roads. Airlines require this document before you can fly with your pets. It’s a good rule of thumb to get a pet health certificate when you take a train as well. This is not a document you can get once and keep on file. Most states require a pet health certificate be issued no more than ten days to two weeks before travel.
Pet Health Certificates state the animal has been found free of disease and is up to date on its vaccines. You may ask the vet for a copy of the rabies certificate or make a copy out of your file. It is always good to travel with rabies certificates and Pet Health Certificates. Although the veterinarian will indicate on the Pet Health Certificate that the pet is up to date on its vaccines, this does not preclude a request from a vet or law enforcement office for proof, which is that pesky piece of paper.
A photocopy will do nicely.
You should also have your vet list the medications your pet needs on the Health certificate. In the event you and the pet are separated there is a record of what needs to be give and anyone with the certificate and know how can care for your pet.
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