Traveling with Pets

The New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA) offers the following advice on how to decide whether including your pet will make the celebration memorable or whether it’s best to leave him/her at home.

Is your pet a good traveler?
Be it car or airplane, some pets are very stressed in moving vehicles and planes. If traveling by plane, be sure to have your veterinary issued health certificates done in a timely manner. Nothing is worse than being turned away at the gate for inappropriate papers.
Check with the host/hostess.
Always ask the host of the party whether your pet is welcome.
Is your pet obedient?
Only take your pet if he is well-behaved and obedient. Is your pet normally friendly and people-oriented? Does your pet know not to steal food and jump on guests?

Be considerate of your pet’s needs.
Is your pet used to gatherings of people and the accompanying noise? Don’t include a pet that is skittish and prefers to be alone or in quiet settings. Remember that pets may not find social gatherings enjoyable. Don’t let your eagerness to include them be the deciding factor. Forcing a pet into an unpleasant situation may result in undesirable behavior, resulting in unhappy people and pets.
Consider the company you’ll keep.
Will there be a friend or family member present who is allergic to cats or afraid of dogs? Consider what other animals will be at your destination and whether your pet gets along with them.
Create a safe place.
Bring your pet’s crate so he has a safe place to retreat if the festivities get a bit too loud. Also remember his favorite blanket, toys, food, treats, and any medications he may take.
Don’t ignore your pet.
It’s easy to get caught up in activities and forget your pet. Make sure your pet’s feeding, walking and sleeping routine stays the same. Also, make sure to keep your pet safe and away from trash cans, chemicals, open doors, and other hazards which may be present in a home not normally accustomed to having pets around.
Vaccinations and ID.
Be sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and that his pet identification tag has current contact information should he escape while you are away. Your pet should wear his collar at all times with his identification and verify that the collar cannot break/snap off easily.
Take a current photo.
When traveling with your pet it is also recommended that you take a current photo with you and keep it in your wallet and/or cell phone so in case you are separated it’s easier to help locate your pet.

If you need a veterinarian, please visit the Find a Veterinarian page to locate a veterinarian in your area.