Traveling with pets usually requires advanced planning. If you have never taken your pet with you on a trip before there are several suggestions you might like to consider. When traveling by car, it is best to withhold at least food and possibly water for several hours before leaving, as well as during the trip. It may also be a good idea to take along a couple of days worth of your pets usual brand of food as it may not be readily available at your final destination. This will allow for a smoother transition to a new brand of food if necessary and help avoid upsetting the bowels as much as possible.

For older pets or those with on going or special needs taking along a copy of your pets medical records is often very helpful if it should become necessary to seek veterinary attention along the way. Most veterinarians can give you a referral animal hospital to go to if an emergency should present itself. Your veterinarian can also dispense a tranquilizer if necessary, although I feel this is often not a good practice.

Many states require proof of at least a current rabies vaccination if not a health certificate too. The type of documentation varies from state to state as well as from one country to the next. It is often best to contact the consulate of the country you will be traveling to several weeks ahead of time to allow enough time for the paper work to be completed.

The airlines may also have certain requirements that need to be met before they will allow your pet on the plane. Several years ago the Federal Aviation Authority changed the rules that govern the safety of pets traveling on planes. This change resulted in a considerable improvement of the safety and comfort of your pet as well as a uniform minimum standard that all airlines must adhere to.

Taking your pet with you when you travel is not always easy, however, if you choose to do so consult with your veterinarian several weeks in advance for his/her advice.

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