Traveling With Pets

It’s great to take your animal-children with you on a trip — but it does require a little extra pre-planning. You can’t just throw Fido or Boo-Boo Kitty in the car with you and go. Do you have the right supplies? Are they secure and safe during transit? Are they comfortable and happy?

Ask Your Vet Before Leaving

Checkmark-Iconhave your pet examined by your veterinarian

Xmark-Iconcollect up your pet health certificate and vaccination records

Checkmark-Iconinvestigate sedation for your pet during the trip

Xmark-Iconhave your pet vaccinated 30 days prior to overseas travel

Checkmark-Iconget current rabies tag if you don’t already have one

Xmark-Icondo not travel with sick, pregnant, very old, or very young pets

Basic Pet Necessities

Checkmark-Iconveterinarian papers and medical records

Xmark-Iconpet’s bed or blankets

Checkmark-Iconleash or harness

Xmark-Iconpaper towels or rags for cleaning up messes

Checkmark-Iconscooper and plastic bags or litter box and litter

Xmark-Iconportable kennel

Checkmark-Iconfavorite toy and treats

Xmark-Iconbrush and comb

Checkmark-Iconfood, dish, and water — plus can opener if canned food

Getting Your Records In Order

Xmark-Iconname of pet

Checkmark-Iconspecies and gender

Xmark-Iconlicense number

Checkmark-Icondescription including color and markings

Xmark-Iconowner’s name, telephone number, address

Checkmark-Iconveterinarian’s name, telephone number, address

Xmark-Iconemergency information

Checkmark-Iconvaccination and appointment dates

Xmark-Iconconditions and illnesses

Checkmark-Icontreatments and medication

Keeping Your Pet Comfortable

Xmark-Iconkennel should allow pet room to stand

Checkmark-Iconshould be large enough for animal to turn around and lie down in

Xmark-Iconline bottom with towels for comfort and to absorb spills

Checkmark-Iconinclude small litter box for cats

Xmark-Iconattach holders for water and food

Checkmark-Icontake on short trips to get used to motion of the car

Legalities And Regulations

Xmark-Iconair transport of cats and dogs less than 8 weeks old prohibited

Checkmark-Icononly seeing eye dogs may travel on trains or buses

Xmark-Iconpets may travel on airlines if crated in proper container

Checkmark-Iconsome airlines allow pets in cabin if crate will fit under seat

Xmark-Iconlarger pets must be stored in the cargo area as “air freight”

Pet Safety Tips

Checkmark-Iconpets traveling in car should be properly restrained for safety

Xmark-Iconget a pet carrier or wire crate to secure cats or dogs

Checkmark-Iconput animal in crate regularly before traveling to get accustomed

Xmark-Iconbring plenty of water, especially in hot weather

Checkmark-Iconnever leave animals in a parked car, even with window down

Small Animals

Xmark-Iconbirds and rodents may travel in their own cages

Checkmark-Iconremove all water from cages to prevent spilling

Xmark-Iconkeep bird cages covered to protect from drafts and stress

Checkmark-Iconfeed small animals regularly and water at rest stops

Xmark-Iconhave tropical fish packed by a professional at your fish store

Checkmark-Iconother fish may be packed in a half-full plastic bag

Xmark-Iconcarry as much of the aquarium water with you as you can

Checkmark-Icontanks smaller than 5 gallons can be moved in-tact in the car

Xmark-Iconit is generally not necessary to feed fish during the trip

Travel Day

Checkmark-Iconfeed pet no less than 5-6 hours before trip

Xmark-Iconfeed only 1/3 normal amount to prevent travel sickness

Checkmark-Icongive water and any medications 1-2 hours before leaving

Xmark-Iconexercise pet before confining to crate

Checkmark-Iconlimit feeding of your pets to once a day during the move

Xmark-Iconplan regular stops for water and exercise if possible

When You Arrive

Checkmark-Iconkeep animal in a quiet area until adjusts

Xmark-Iconput dish, litter box, and other supplies in familiar locations

Checkmark-Iconallow your pet to explore and get comfortable

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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