Man and dogTraveling with pets long distances and for long periods of time present challenges not only for pet owners but also for the pets they take along. According to Dr. Mitch Spindell who hosts the Ask the Vet feature at, the first thing one should always consider is how physically able a pet is to travel. Some senior, pregnant, injured, or otherwise physically impaired pets do not travel well. Besides making sure your pet is physically fit and comfortable to make the trip, here are some tips to consider:

  1. If your pet has any chronic conditions, take all pertinent medical records. It’s a good idea to have your pet’s records with you any time you travel.
  2. If your pet is on any long-term medications, be sure to have plenty to last your entire stay.
  3. If you are driving north or south of the U.S. border, be sure to check all local regulations and have your pet’s current health certificates with you.
  4. If you’ll be staying in a certain area for any length of time, be sure to establish a local vet as soon as possible in case of emergency. Go to and click on Pet Emergency Tips for more information.
  5. Ask a local vet about any diseases or parasites that may be present in that part of the country (Lyme disease in New England or year-round fleas in Florida, for instance). Your pet may not be protected against these if they are not present where you live.

Also consider taking along a photo of your pet in case you get separated and need the help of others to locate your pet. A pet travel ID tag with your cell phone number is also a good idea. If someone finds your pet, they can contact you quickly, instead of them calling a home phone number and not finding anyone at home.

Bottom line is to be prepared when you hit the road with your pet.  What other essentials can you think of to take along when you travel with your pet?

Happy Pet Travels!

Tom James

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  1. We traveled with our standard poodle and two cats for a year in our RV. I wouldn’t travel any other way, now. The trip was life-changing for all of us: By the end of the trip, the cats – who had always hated each other – forged a truce. The dog was the only one of us who wasn’t changed by the journey, but they’re perfect to begin with, of course!

  2. Pam

    We’re thinking of going to another state and would like to take our house cat. We’ve taken him locally and does pretty good, occasionaly he’ll get sick, but we’re learning to put up the food 1-2 hours before we leave. My main comcern is how will we know when to put him in the litter box, it will be in travel trailer? I thought when we stop for rest stop but wasn’t sure.