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By Dr. Sarah Wallace
Flying can be stressful. And knowing how to fly with pets can be even more so, especially for first timers. While there are some things you can buy pretty much at every final destination (like food and toys), there are a few essential items that you should always make sure to bring with you. At Fuzzy, we love preparing ahead, so we recommend setting aside a few items in a designated pet travel bag so you’re always ready to take off.
Always have a copy of your pet’s vaccination records in case of an emergency. Vaccination records are required for daycare and boarding in case your pet needs a place to stay. If you’re traveling overseas, you should also research vaccination requirements for the countries you will be visiting, or else risk being denied entry.
When taking your pet across international borders, a travel health certificate is often required by government agencies. These certificates must be issued by accredited veterinarians who will determine whether your pet is ready, or up for, travel. Online veterinarians are unable to create travel certificates for pets, so be sure to leave plenty of time for an appointment with a pet's primary veterinarian for a physical, updated vaccines, necessary bloodwork or other checks.
Make sure to keep tags and microchip information up to date. Microchip information is one that’s easy to forget once you register your pet for the first time. Double-check that your pet has a current tag that is securely attached to their collar or harness. The tag should, at the very least, have an emergency contact phone number.
Most public places, understandably, require dogs to be leashed. If you end up on the road, unfamiliar places can be very exciting for some pets who love to explore, so having a collar and leash handy is important! Additionally, having doggy bags attached to the leash is always a good idea. Those potty breaks are key!
It’s totally normal for pets to feel anxious or nervous when traveling. To ease the stress, keep something familiar in your travel pack that smells like home. We recommend a favorite toy, blanket or even your own clothing. Blankets are especially great because they can double as seat-covers or a makeshift pet bed.
Although it may not be difficult to buy food at a pet store at your final destination, it’s always a good idea to pack some to have while waiting at the airport or for the plane ride. You can also find water stations throughout most airports. There are a variety of brands that make compact food and water bowls specifically for travel.
If you have room, a first aid kit would be a great addition to your pet’s duffel bag. There are many pre-assembled first aid kits for animals, but you can also easily make up your own. You can gather items like tweezers (to remove splinters), nail clippers, gauze bandages, adhesive tape, and antiseptic wipes or ointments.
Fuzzy offers a variety of services that can make it easier to have your pet looking and feeling their best and ready for travel. If you’re not a member yet, check out our member benefits.