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Traveling with Pets

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All veterinarians at Fisher-Smith Animal Hospital are USDA Accredited and able to complete health certificates for travelling pets. If you are planning on travelling with your pet, be sure to plan ahead properly. When travelling with your pets, there are often animal health requirements specific for that destination. As soon as you know your travel details, consult the USDA /APHIS website. On this website, select Pet Travel from the homepage. From here you can easily find up-to-date travel requirements for traveling with pets to different states and other countries. Factors to consider may include meeting time frames for obtaining a health certificate, updating vaccinations, diagnostic testing, or administration of medications/ treatments.

When planning a trip with your pet try to follow these steps:

1) Visit USDA-APHIS Pet Travel website to read over any exam, testing or vaccine requirements that may be needed for your travel destination. Remember, requirements vary dramatically depending on where you are travelling. Be sure to look into any time sensitive requirements as some destinations can require several months of preparation.

2) Set up your first appointment at Fisher-Smith Animal Hospital by calling 256-766-0343 to begin completing any requirements in plenty of time to have it all completed by your vacation, move or departure date. Remember, some countries or states require weeks of advance preparation before allowing to visit with your pet! If you are unsure if your pet is up to date on vaccines or testing, we can help you determine what is needed.

3) Pet restraint is important whether your are driving or flying with your pet. Check with your airline before booking a ticket to determine how your pet will fly to your destination. Certain transport crates may be required. When driving, keeping your pet restrained is important not only to avoid a driving distraction, but also to keep your pet safe in the unlikely case of an accident. Crates are always recommended when transporting pets in the car.

4) Pet Identification is a necessity. Be sure your pet is wearing a secure collar with your name and contact information. Microchips are small chips placed under the skin of a pet that hold your contact information and a unique identification number. International travel often requires pets to be microchipped. Pets can act in unusual ways when on a long trip and may slip off of a leash or dart from your vehicle even when it is typically out of character for them to do so. Multiple means of identification can help your pet get back to you safe if you are unable to find him or her yourself.

5) Pack the essentials. Be sure to bring plenty of dog food and any medications your pet needs. Placing daily portions in small bags allows for quick access to food and always bring a few extra meals worth just in case of an unexpected travel delay. Bring along a leash and small plastic bags to clean up after walking your dog or bring a small litter pan and extra litter when traveling with cats. Bringing favorite toys or a blanket from home, may help your pet stay more comfortable while traveling.

6) Find pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and other accommodations in areas you will be traveling through. This will keep you from putting your pet in a dangerous situation of staying in a hot car without you.

Visit the website Trips With Pets for more travel tips.

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Call us during normal business hours for your appointment request or questions at 256-766-0343

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