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Our Blog: Tips for Pets and Vacation



Hello Gentle Care Clients. I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather. This is the season many take vacations and travel so I thought I’d expand on this topic should you include your pet(s). I have put together some tips for pet-friendly vacation travel that will hopefully help eliminate any undue stress on yourself and your pet(s).


  1. See your veterinarian. Make an appointment to see us if you are in need of medications, upcoming vaccines or any vaccines that have lapped. If you are concerned your pet may have some travel issues like motion sickness, noise aversion or general stress from being away from home, let us discuss that beforehand. Please note that the Canine Influenza vaccines take a full 6 weeks to become effective the first time. Another notable concern is if your pet in not currently on heartworm prevention, please let us get the preventive medication on board now. Heartworm disease is a concern here in Missouri as well as most of the United States. Make sure you have enough parasite preventives/ prescription medications before you leave. Make sure you have a copy of the animal’s health records and shot records. If your pet is not microchipped, we can provide that service also. In case you and your pet were to get separated anytime, microchipping is great tool to aide in being reunited. If your pet is already microchipped; check your registration to make sure you have up to date information (name, address and cell phone numbers).

  2. Emergency Information. To be fully prepared, a document containing information necessary during an emergency should compiled and placed in a location for easy access while traveling. It should Include: Owner’s contact information, Emergency contact information of a friend or relative, Veterinarian’s name, address, telephone number, a copy of pet’s medical history, shot records, dietary needs, prescription information, complete with dosage requirements and dispensing times, a picture of pet and microchip registration information (if applicable).

  3. Safety in the car. If traveling by car, make sure animal has an area where they can rest and relax in comfort and safety. Much like a seatbelt for people, pets should be protected with a secured strap or harness when the vehicle is moving. If pets are not used to traveling or are not used to being securely contained within a vehicle, before the start of the trip, it is important to make sure the strap or harness is tailored to fit the animal and take your pet on short rides to get them used to the motion and to being confined.

  4. Crossing state lines. When traveling across state lines, certain states require proof of rabies vaccination. Remember to have shot records where they can be easily accessed.

  5. Traveling by plane. When considering air travel with a pet, keep in mind the following. Some airlines may only allow animals to travel in the cargo hold. When traveling on an airline that requires animals to travel in a crate, be certain to obtain a crate that matches the airline’s specifications. Some airlines have canine breed restrictions. Most airlines will maintain the right to refuse to board any animals that exhibit any type of aggressive behaviors.

  6. If you will be using a pet crate for any mode of travel or while staying in your daily accommodations make sure the crate is big enough for the animal to sit, stand, and rest comfortably. Do not wait until the last minute to introduce the animal to the crate, give them time at home to become accustomed to going in and being confined. Please make sure the pet is wearing a collar that is safe and has the proper identification attached. Make sure the crate you use has an attached lick water bottle or has room for a water bowl on crate floor. Keep an attached cop of veterinary records and medication requirements on the crate as well as pet’s name, family name, and cell phone contact information. If necessary, discuss with veterinarian the animal’s need for relaxing techniques or for medications that would be safe to use with animal for an anxious traveler.


Please contact Gentle Care Animal Hospital to discuss any questions you might have, to make an appointment or need any vaccinations, medications or parasite preventives before you take out on your adventure. 417-725-2386 gcahnixa@gmail.com. Have a great summer!!



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