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Taking your pet on holiday?

As summer approaches, many of us will be thinking about taking our pets on holiday. Whether it’s by car, train, boat or plane, journeys can be stressful for your pets. Here are a few things to consider and steps to take to reduce your pet's stress and make your travel as enjoyable as possible.

If you’re travelling by car, make sure your pet has been acclimatised. Take them out on short journeys initially so they adjust to travelling. If you only ever put your pet in a basket when they are going to the vets, they may have a bad association and find it a stressful experience. Consider using pheromone sprays, which mimic the smells of a mother with her young, to help keep them calm on the journey. Make sure to plan regular stops along the way with plenty of opportunity for your pets to have water. For short journeys, don't feed your pet immediately before travelling as this will help prevent sickness in the car. For long journeys, offer a light meal prior to travelling and pack light snacks for them, just like you would for children. Never leave your pet in the car unattended. If the temperature outside is 22oC/72oF, the temperature in the car could be as high as 47oC/117oF. Try to arrange travel during the coolest parts of the day. Make sure you pack all the essentials such as lead, collar, bed, bowls and poop bags. Take plenty of your pet’s normal food with you on holiday as sudden changes in diet can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea. If you're going somewhere hot and have a pet with a white coat or pink nose/ears, be sure to take some pet sunscreen with you too!

When taking your pet abroad, it is important to check the requirements of the country you are travelling to. All pets require a microchip and rabies vaccination to allow a pet passport to be issued. The passport is issued 21 days after the rabies vaccination, so it is vital to ensure you plan ahead before your holiday. Veterinary surgeons have to complete government-approved training to be able to issue pet passports. On returning to the UK, a tapeworm treatment must be administered by a veterinary surgeon between 1 and 5 days before re-entering the UK. So if you are going away for a weekend break, it is possible for the wormer to be given in the UK before you travel, but for longer stays you will need to find a vet abroad who can give the wormer. Be aware that many countries also have different parasites and biting insects, which carry a variety of diseases not seen in the UK. Talk to your vet about the best preventative treatments for your pet abroad.

When travelling with your pet, plan ahead, make sure their vaccinations are up to date and ensure you use suitable preventative treatments for any bugs they might encounter. Be safe and most of all have a happy holiday!

If you are travelling abroad and would like more information, please check out the link below:

Taking Your Pet Abroad