For many devoted pet owners, trip planning includes the four-legged members of the family. If your pet needs medication, travel can be a little more complicated. Whether your travel plans are by land, sea or air, a little bit of extra preparation can help ensure a fun and safe trip for everyone.
Tips for traveling with pets on medication
Stay calm, sit comfortably
Two of the most common issues pets face when traveling are anxiety and motion sickness. Airports and train stations can be overwhelming to anyone, so imagine how your pets feel! And just like humans, animals may respond to rocking boats and winding roads with dizziness and nausea. Conditioning your pets for the journey with short practice trips is a good idea. But there are also safe and effective medicines that can provide relief to your beloved fur babies.
Leave it to your vet
Don’t give your pet any medications for anxiety, motion sickness, or other travel-related conditions without consulting a veterinarian. They can recommend safe treatment options that take into account your pet’s health, demeanor, mode of transportation and final destination. While some medications may have the same names as ours, appropriate dosing is vital. Additionally, there are specially formulated medications for pets, and a compounding pharmacy (preferably one approved by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board) may be able to help you make a medication easier to give to an anxious or nauseated four-legged friend.
If you are traveling by air or internationally, you’ll need to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date and get a health certificate from your veterinarian, so this visit is a great time to discuss medications that can ease your pet’s travel woes.
Fetch prescriptions before traveling
Like their humans, many pets take medications daily. Don’t forget to pack up your pets’ prescriptions in the same way you would your own. This is especially important for air travel; check with your airline for specific regulations. Forgetting medications can be dangerous to your pets’ health, and force you to spend your precious vacation time scrambling to fill a prescription.
It’s technically possible to have veterinarians do a medication transfer within the US –plus US territories and Canadian provinces that border the US– but it isn’t always achievable. In remote, rural, or foreign destinations, your pet’s medications may not be in stock.
If your pet has serious health issues, it’s smart to bring your veterinarian contact information, health documents, and check out the pet care options available where you will be vacationing. Now get planning, and have a paws-itively fun and healthy trip with the whole family!
About the author: Roland Lopez is a Pharmacist and Pharmacy Manager at Kelley-Ross Pharmacy Group Compounding Pharmacy.