On the Road Again: Your Pet Travel Safety Checklist

A dog sitting between their companion's legs

Spring and summer are travel seasons, and for many families, leaving a beloved fur friend behind is out of the question. Of course, bringing a pet along for the ride has its challenges, and being prepared is important when it comes to their safety and comfort.

Whether you’re headed to the mountains or the ocean, the team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital has you covered. Check out our pet travel safety checklist to get started!

Pet Travel Safety Checklist

  • Vaccinations – Make sure your pet is up-to-date on their vaccinations prior to your trip. Ask your veterinarian if there are any additional vaccines you should consider based on your travel plans.
  • Parasite protection – Fleas, ticks, and vector-borne illnesses, like heartworm disease, are a major problem in most areas of the country. The only way your pet will truly be protected is with a flea, tick, and heartworm prevention protocol. Many of these medications also protect against intestinal parasites.
  • Identification – One of the most critical pieces of your pet travel safety arsenal is proper and secure identification for your pet. A well-fitting collar with ID tags (worn at all times) is a must, along with a microchip registered with your current contact information. These important tools can make the difference between tragedy or a happy ending.
  • Restraints – Allowing your pet to roam freely in your vehicle is risky for both them and you. Research crates and car restraints before selecting one, and allow plenty of time before the trip to acclimate your pet. We’re happy to offer recommendations.
  • Travel gear – Your pet’s duffel bag should contain everything they need to stay happy and comfortable while traveling. Pack more food and fresh water than you anticipate needing, along with bowls from which to eat and drink. If your pet is on any medications, pack extra in case your trip is delayed. Bringing along comforts from home, such as your pet’s bed and favorite toys, will also help them feel more at ease.
  • Safety supplies – In case of emergency, have a copy of your pet’s medical records on hand. A pet first aid kit can also be helpful (download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app for detailed instructions on how to assemble and use a first aid kit).
  • Health certificate – If you plan on traveling to another country with your pet, you’ll need to obtain a veterinary health certificate. Please call us as soon as you know your destination to begin the process.

A Few Safety Reminders

Planning ahead is important anytime you travel, and this is never more true than when a pet is involved.

  • Be sure to provide ample time for frequent pit stops along the way. Your pet needs potty breaks and an opportunity to stretch their legs as much as you do.
  • Plan for pet-friendly activities during your trip, and make sure your pet has a safe place to stay when you’re doing things without them.
  • NEVER leave your pet alone inside an unattended vehicle, regardless of the weather. The temperature inside a parked car can skyrocket to dangerous levels even when parked in the shade with the windows cracked.

Don’t forget, we also offer safe and comfortable pet boarding services for those times when traveling with your best pal just isn’t an option. Please give us a call for more information or to schedule a tour.