Travelling with your dog can be a lot of fun – for both the dog and the dog owner! However, travelling with pets does require a little research and preparation that should be done well before trip departure, especially if you plan on crossing the border into the United States.
What to bring
Even if you are staying in Canada, you should always carry your dog’s most up-to-date vaccination records with you. If you are visiting another country, make sure you have the necessary vaccinations for the country you will be visiting, and if you are not sure what those are be sure to ask your veterinarian well in advance of the trip.
You should also bring a “doggy first aid kit” that contains tweezers to remove ticks, styptic powder to stop toenail bleeding, eye wash to flush wounds, gauze bandages, adhesive tape, scissors and antiseptic moist wipes.
You should also ensure your dog is wearing a tag with an emergency phone number attached to his or her collar. Make sure the tag has current contact information and is securely attached. Be sure to bring your dog’s leash with you as they will more than likely be expected to be leashed at all times. Also make sure your pets microchip information is up current.
What you need to know
Although seat belts for dogs are not mandatory in Canada, it is recommended, and it is law in many U.S. states.
If you are travelling to the U.S. you must bring proof of rabies vaccination with you, as you will most likely be asked to produce proof of vaccination, especially upon returning to Canada.
You should also research what kinds of pet food and treats you can and cannot bring with you across the border. Certain dog foods are not permitted across the border and can be confiscated. If you are unsure of what food can be used to supplement your dog’s diet while travelling, consult your veterinarian.
Don’t forget the toys! Familiar smells and chew toys will help calm even the most anxious pet. You should also remember to pack their favourite blanket or pillow for bedtime.
If you are staying at a pet-friendly hotel, make sure to contact the hotel and confirm that they know you are bringing your pet and ask them about any restrictions. You can also contact them about where the closest walking trail or dog parks are.
And lastly, remember to give your dog plenty of exercise prior to leaving for a long trip. Let them run and play so that they will easily settle down for the journey. With a little research, planning and preparation, a trip with your dog can be fun and memorable!
If your dog’s vaccinations are out of date or if you plan on travelling and would like your dog to have a physical examination before you leave, call us and book an appointment.