JENSEN: Tips to keep your pet safe when travelling this summer

North Peace Creature Feature

jensenTravelling with your furry friends this summer? Whether just travelling down the road to a nearby campground, or crossing international borders, it’s important to consider a few things before packing up and hitting the road.

Transport is one of the most important aspects of keeping your pet safe. Ideally, transporting in a kennel that is secured in place in the vehicle is best. Pet seatbelts are another option, which prevents your pet from interfering with the driver of the vehicle. A seatbelt will also help limit serious trauma in the case of a vehicle accident. For larger dogs that usually ride in the truck box, having a short leash that secures them to the box is recommended. It’s important that the tether to the truck is not too long that they are able to fall over the side and potentially strangulate.

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Anxiety and carsickness can hamper the travel experience, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your dog at home for these reasons. Puppies will often have some degree of carsickness when young, but many of them will grow out of it as they get older. Anxiety can be a little more difficult to deal with, so be sure to speak to your veterinarian about the options, many of them natural, to help curb anxiety and carsick pets this summer.

During the hot summer days, pets can experience heatstroke very quickly. Leaving them in the vehicle, even briefly, can result in serious issues, as the temperature inside a vehicle rises much beyond the outside temperature with all the windows rolled up. Even if you only plan on leaving your pet in the vehicle for a few minutes, unexpected things can happen, so don’t do it!

Infectious diseases can hamper summer fun, which is why prevention is so important. Whether you are travelling to areas with heartworm-infected mosquitoes, Lyme disease-infected ticks, or staying around home where the mosquitoes are rampant, talk to your veterinarian about preventatives to help ward off pesky insects this summer.

If you plan to travel into the United States, having the proper documents will make border crossings as stress free as possible.  An up to date Rabies vaccine, a health certificate, and disease preventatives are some of the most important things when considering out-of-country travel. Speaking to your veterinarian, as well as doing some research yourself, will ensure that your pet is able to cross the border with you and is protected as best as possible from diseases within your region of travel.

Summer is short, so enjoy it while it lasts. Remember, if you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of travelling with your pets, your veterinarian is your most reliable source of information!

Dr. Corinna Jensen was born and raised in the Fort St. John Community and discovered her passion for veterinary medicine at an early age. In June 2015 she completed her dream of becoming a veterinarian and graduated from The Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

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