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Animal Medical Clinic - St. Paul

Traveling With Your Pet

Traveling with your pet requires some planning and preparation. First, consult your veterinarian to make sure your pet is healthy enough and is up to date on vaccinations. Many places will require a health certificate which is issued within 10 days of travel. You will need both a health certificate and rabies certificate to cross most borders. Be sure your pet has adequate identification; either a microchip or a current tag. Find out in advance whether your pet is welcome, call ahead to hotels, motels, parks, and campgrounds to make sure pets are allowed. If you must leave your pet alone in a hotel room, place a Do Not Disturb sign on the door and inform the front desk or bring a portable kennel along so you don't have to worry about your pet getting lost in a strange place.

Air Travel:
Pets must be at least 8 weeks old and weaned at least 5 days before flying. A health certificate and rabies certificate will be required. Contact the airline well in advance to find out their guidelines. Airlines accept a limited number of animals on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to ask when you are making your reservations. Try to book a midweek, non-stop flight. In warm weather, try to fly in early morning or late evening; in cold weather it is best to fly mid-day. Arrive at the airport early after having fed your pet a small meal and exercise your pet before loading it into the carrier. If your pet is in the cabin with you, let the people next to you know that you have a pet in case they have allergies and need to switch seats.

The Kennel Should:

  • Be large enough to allow the pet to stand, turn around, and lie down
  • Be strong, sturdy, and well ventilated
  • Have a leak-proof bottom, you can place absorbent material in the kennel if you know your pet won't eat it on the way.
  • Be appropriately labeled with your name, address, phone number and a sign designating live animal with an arrow indicating the upright position of the kennel

Allow your pet to get used to the kennel before the trip. Try to make the trip as calming as possible for your pet, give your pet some quiet time to adjust to the new environment.