The holiday season is right around the corner, and with the holidays comes traveling. Whether you are going on vacation, or taking a trip to visit out-of-state family, perhaps you are considering bringing your furry family members with you. If your pet will be traveling with you, be sure to do the proper planning to keep your pet healthy and safe.

Road Trip

  • Before heading out on your road trip, make sure you have done some shorter car rides to see how your pet does. Try increasing the amount of time in the car with each trip to make sure your pet does well on longer rides.

  • The safest way for your pet to travel by car is to be restrained. Putting your pet in a crate that can be anchored to the vehicle by seatbelt is preferred. Cats are typically very uncomfortable traveling and should always travel in a carrier or crate.

  • Never leave your pet in the car unattended. The temperature in a car can be very dangerous and unpredictable, both in the summer and winter months.

Up, Up, and Away!

  • Before planning on taking your pet on an airplane, consider all other alternatives. Unless your pet is small enough to fit under your seat in a carrier, travel by air is not recommended.

  • Air travel can be particularly dangerous for animals with "pushed in" faces (the medical term is "brachycephalic"), such as bulldogs, pugs and Persian cats. Their short nasal passages leave them especially vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke. Most airlines will not allow these breeds to travel by air.

  • If you decide that airline travel is best and your pet will be flying in the cargo hold, be sure your airline is prepared to accommodate pets and has a temperature controlled cargo hold for pets.

  • If possible, try and travel on the same flight as your pet.

  • Make sure your pets nails have been clipped to be sure their nails do not get caught on carrier doors, holes, or other crevices.


  • Be sure to look into your accommodations in advance. Make a list of pet-friendly hotels on your route.

  • Make sure to have a reservation. Many pet-friendly hotels only have a few rooms reserved for families traveling with pets.

In any case, be sure your pet is updated on their vaccines and wellness visit before traveling. Never give your pet a tranquilizer unless it has been approved and prescribed by your veterinarian. Make sure to keep a copy of your pet’s vaccine record in case of an emergency. Happy travels!