Pet Travel

National Pet Travel Safety Day: Do's and Don'ts

National Pet Travel Safety Day is an important day for pet owners to consider when traveling with their pets. More than 36 million people travel by car each year in the US, and approximately 78% of them have a pet in tow. It’s essential to know all the rules about traveling with your pet so you can keep both yourself and your furry friend safe while on the road. If you’ve never traveled with your pet before, this blog post will give you great tips to help ensure that it goes smoothly, whether driving across town or the country!

Have you ever considered the safety of your pet when traveling? Many pet owners make travel decisions based on their pets. There are rules in place designed to keep pets safe and prevent them from becoming lost or hurt.


Simple General Tips

Here are some simple steps that every pet owner can take to keep their pets safe while traveling:

  • Make sure your pet has a recent rabies vaccination according to USDA standards
  • Make sure they are microchipped in case they get lost
  • Check the weather forecast where you're going, and plan accordingly
  • Keep an eye on your pet during transit, not just at the arrival
  • Choose the safest and most comfortable travel accommodations for your pet
  • As for cats, they are almost always better off staying home

Traveling by Car Tips:

traveling by car tips
  • Use dog restraints while traveling. This will keep them from roaming in the car, and if there is an accident, they won’t get thrown.
  • Put them in the back! The airbags may harm your pet, and you certainly don’t want to hurt them.
  • Keep their head inside the car. Particles of debris can get in their eyes, causing damage or even blindness.
  • Let them go potty. If you have to go, they probably need to go too.
  • Don’t leave your pet in the car alone.
          ○ If you happen to see another pet that has been left alone in a vehicle, here are some steps you can take.

Traveling by Air:

Before booking your flight, you will want to think through all of your options, as flying can be risky for any pet.

dog inside pet carrier

If you ultimately decide that flying is your best option, always choose the cabin when possible and not the underbelly of the plane. Unfortunately, hundreds of animals are killed, injured, or lost that are flown in the cargo hold. Excessively hot or cool weather, lack of ventilation, and rough transportation are all factors that lead to injuries and even deaths of various animals.

Here are a few tips to follow with flying with your pet:

  • Get a direct flight
  • Make sure your pet has a collar on that won’t get caught in carrier doors
  • Make sure your name, address, and phone number are on the pet’s collar, along with their name
  • Be sure to label your pet’s carrier with your name, address, and phone number along with your pet’s name
  • Trim their nails to keep them from getting caught in transition
  • Do not give your pet any medications, unless your vet has cleared it
  • Do not feed your pet for 4-6 hours before the trip
  • As a precaution, have a current picture of your pet. That way, if they get lost, this will make it easier for the airline employees to help you find them quicker.
Dog in crate going into cargo area of plane

If you’ve never traveled with your pet before, this blog post gives you great tips to help ensure it goes smoothly and your pet gets there safely. Whether you have a dog or cat at home, we recommend taking precautions and following the rules for traveling with pets in tow.

Have any of these safety suggestions been useful? When is your next trip? We would love to see pictures of how you are keeping your furry friend safe while traveling! Let us know what happened by posting photos on social media! Make sure you tag us @vitalpetlife #safetravelingpet #safetravelingdog #safetravelingcat