To ensure you and your pet have a memorable and stress-free trip, our Dr. Treat team’s guide helps you prepare for an enjoyable travel experience with your p
Travel planning can be stressful, and if your pet will be tagging along, your trip preparation will become more intense.
However, you will be grateful you planned appropriately when you and your pet enjoy smooth sailing. To ensure you and your pet have a memorable and stress-free trip, our Dr. Treat team’s guide helps you prepare for an enjoyable travel experience with your pet.
As you prepare for your next adventure, read our Dr. Treat team’s tips to ensure smooth traveling with your pet, and start planning for your trip of a lifetime!
#1 Know your airline’s pet policies
Before you book your flight, learn various airlines’ pet travel rules, and compare their policies to determine which pet air travel rules will work best for you and your pet’s needs. Once you have chosen a carrier, ensure you know their pet travel rules, and plan to secure your pet’s required travel documents. Ensure you and your pet take off without a hitch by asking the airline the following preflight questions:
- What documents should I bring? — Your pet’s required documents depend on the airline’s and destination’s regulations. However, keep in mind that most airlines require your pet’s original health certificate issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian no more than 10 days before you embark on your adventure.
- Will my pet fly in the cabin or cargo? — Your pet’s breed and size determine whether they can travel as a carry-on in the plane’s cabin, or whether they must be transported in the cargo area.
- What are the airline’s pet limits? — All airlines limit the number of pets allowed to travel in the cabin or cargo area for each flight.
- What are the guidelines for my pet’s kennel? — To ensure you are following regulations, check with your airline to confirm appropriate kennel dimensions and weight limits.
- What are the specific domestic and international travel requirements? — Depending on your destination, your pet may face additional specific requirements. For example, some U.S. cities or states restrict certain breeds, and some countries have specific requirements for pets coming from the United States.
- Hawaii— Hawaii is the only rabies-free U.S. state, and has extensive pet travel requirements, so plan ahead, ensuring you secure your pet’s medical care requirements, and have their documented paperwork in hand before you head to the airport.
#2: Talk to your veterinarian
Before you and your pet embark on your adventure, schedule their pretravel veterinary exam to ensure your pet is healthy enough to travel. Keep your pet’s best interests in mind when planning for a trip by consulting with your veterinarian, who will consider your pet’s age, health history, and temperament, and can provide you with helpful resources and your pet’s travel documents, including:
- Medication — If you have an anxious pet, your veterinarian can prescribe calming supplements or motion-sickness medications.
- Health certificate and medical records— Dr. Treat links to the Global Vet Link platform, a free app that allows you to access your pet’s health records and certificates 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
- Microchip — Ensuring your pet is microchipped increases the chances that you and your pet will be reunited if they are separated from you in an unfamiliar location. Microchipping is a pets’ only permanent, unalterable identification form, and many countries outside the United States require pets to be microchipped for entry. If your pet is not microchipped, schedule an appointment with our Dr. Treat team for this quick procedure. In addition to a microchip, your pet should always wear a secure collar with identification tags, and to prevent your pet from getting loose, keep them on a short leash while traveling.
#3: Prepare your pet for the flight
Once your pet has had their medical exam, and you have their required health documents, focus on preparing them for the flight. Regardless of the flight time, ensure your pet will be safe and comfortable by:
- Bringing the appropriate pet carrier — Ensure your pet will be comfortable traveling in their carrier. Ask your airline for guidance regarding appropriate kennel dimensions and weight limits.
- Teaching leash manners — Ensure your pet is comfortable being restrained. If they need to brush up on their leash skills, begin practicing long before your trip.
- Packing pet essentials — Like you, your pet needs specific essentials to make travel enjoyable. When packing your pet’s suitcase, ensure you include these essential items:
- Planning potty breaks — Locate your airport’s pet relief area, and ensure your pet has time to relieve themself and exercise before boarding the plane.
- Feeding — Feed your pet a smaller meal on departure day to prevent them from experiencing stomach upset. Avoid feeding your pet two hours or fewer before a domestic flight, and four hours or fewer before an international flight.
Travel planning takes a lot of work, and even more preparation if your pet will be joining you. As you and your pet plan your next trip, let our Dr. Treat team ensure your pet is healthy for their big adventure—secure your pet’s Dr. Treat OneTM membership today!