Travelling with your dog
Dr. Jane Harris BVSc
The last few years have seen an increase in the number of pet friendly travel and accommodation options available in Australia.
Whilst this means that our four legged friends can join in the family adventures, it does add an extra element to the holiday packing and planning.
The following checklist can help ensure you’ll have everything covered when it comes time to walk out the door.
- Make sure your dog’s preventative health measures are up to date. A current vaccination certificate is mandatory at some places. The social and transitory nature of pet friendly accomodation mean it is vital to ensure your dog is up to date on their vaccinations, flea control and worming (both for heartworm and intestinal worms). No one wants to spend your family holiday looking after a sick or itchy, uncomfortable pet! If you do need to re-vaccinate you dog before going, please remember it can take up to 2 weeks after the injection to get a full immune response.
- Are your pet’s microchip details correct? No one wants to lose their furry friend but it can happen, especially when you are away and in an unfamiliar environment. Ensuring your details are correct means that if the worst happens, you can be contacted and reunited!
- Don’t forget to check if you have enough of any prescription medications to cover the time you’ll be away and first few days home at least. The same goes for any preventative health measures, like heartworm or flea treatments, that may be due whilst you are away. If your pet is on a medication that requires refrigeration, please plan your cold storage carefully.
- Find out if there are any local parasite or health concerns where you are heading. Forewarned is forearmed! Many areas of Australia (especially coastally) are home to the paralysis tick, whose toxin can be fatal if left untreated. Brown dog and bush ticks are even more prevalent and, whilst not fatal in their own right, they can spread disease and cause skin irritations. If you are heading to a tick area, please ensure you treat your pet and buy a tick remover before you leave, as well as conducting daily searches. There are a variety of effective tick control measures available on the market today and many cover fleas as well. There are also products available to prevent mosquito and fly bites, a god-send at some destinations! If you are heading to Tasmania, your dog will need to have a specific tapeworm treatment less than 14 days before departure.
- When packing the beds, bowls and food for Fido, don’t forget a strong lead and waste bags. Depending on where you are heading, a longline lead or chain with an anchor peg can be really useful. Collapsible water bowls are great if you are planning on bush walking whilst away.
- How are you planning on getting to your destination? Most people travel by car with their pet – do you need a ute lead or car harness? Some animals can become car sick – please contact us to discuss the medication options available to you if your pet is one of those who does! If you are travelling by air, please check with your airline about their regulations on travel crate size and type, as well as any “fit to fly” certification that may be needed. Please also remember some airlines will not allow animals to fly if they have been sedated.
Travelling with your pet can be a wonderful experience. A little forethought can help make it even better, for you and your dog.
If you have any questions on anything covered here, please do not hesitate to call the clinic on (03) 9807 9222.