Vet Version of A Cheap Pet- Friendly Vacation: Travel Animal Doctor

Vet Version of A Cheap Pet- Friendly Vacation: Travel Animal Doctor

As a spin off of the list made by my mother, Penny Claudio, today I wanted to share with you my hints on a safe and cheap pet-friendly vacation.  -Travel Animal Doctor

If you missed her article, click here for some practical tips on traveling to see family so that you are welcome anytime.

As a veterinarian, the first thing I think of when I travel with pets is the possibility of spreading disease to the other pets or even family members in the household, and pet anxiety.

The following list will be things to remember when traveling with your pet to visit relatives from my point of view.

6 Reminders when Taking Pets to the In-Laws

Remember your pet's dental care.

This is just an important reminder that your pet’s oral hygiene is important.

  • When taking your pet to see family they may love seeing her, but if her breath stinks they will not want to get close.
  • If you can hardly remember to pack your own toothbrush and toothpaste at least remember those dental chews.
  • Your pet is going to feel a little out of her realm so dental treats will be that special treat you use to get her into her kennel at night, and remind her that you are with her.
  • At the same time these chews help control that build up of tartar on your pet’s teeth, and keeps the bad breath caused by the bacteria in her teeth at a minimum.

If you are interested in the proper dental care for your pet, read more here.

Is she being loud?

In unfamiliar territory pets may get anxious, restless and loud.

  • If you want a cheap pet-friendly vacation, always think about the comfort level of your pet.
  • If you are afraid that your pet is being loud or keeping the relatives up, it is appropriate to find a place for her where she feels confident enough to sleep.
  • She may also be an uneasy presence to the other animals in the household. If the other animals are being loud or staying up, this is another reason your pet may not be in the right location.

If you were planning to stay with your relatives for more than just the night, discuss with them the possibility of placing her kennel somewhere which would be the least troublesome for all parties involved.

Xanboozled / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Is she up to date on her monthly preventatives?

The diseases that can easily spread pet-to-pet and even pet to human are largely prevented by those monthly preventatives you use on your animal.


  • It is important to make sure your pet is up to date before taking your animal to another pet-friendly household. This will ensure that pet is safe during your cheap pet-friendly vacation.
  • While your family most likely also have their animals on monthly preventatives, it is better to be safe than sorry. You can also make sure your family’s pets are up to date just by asking them.

If your pet missed her preventatives for a few months and she has abnormal stool (poop) DO NOT TAKE HER with you to see family.

Get a Fecal

  • Take her to your veterinarians, have them take a fecal, get a dewormer, and make sure her stool is normal before taking her somewhere outside of her home or the veterinary hospital.
  • If the fecal comes back negative, and the abnormal stool is not because of parasites your veterinarian may have to run additional tests. In this case keep your pet away from other pets. You would not want to cause another pet to get sick.
  • Finally, some parasites that monthly preventatives protect your pet from are zoonotic which means they can transfer from your pet to humans. If you are going to a family member’s house that has small children, it is vitally important to remember those monthly preventatives.

You do not want to unintentionally give a parasite from your pet to a family member.

DO NOT put monthly preventatives on your pet minutes before she meets up with your host’s pets.

This may take some extra preparation on your part before you leave.

Applying Preventatives

  • If there are other pets in the household you are going to, it is important to remember that anything you put between the shoulder blades is put there for a reason. It is the least likely spot that your own pet can get to it to lick it off.
  • We all know when pets get together at doggy daycare or dog parks, they love to play, wrestle and chase each other. They will also be figuring out a hierarchy. Contact with one another right after monthly preventatives are administered is not well advised. Wait until the dermal application between the shoulder blades is COMPLETELY dried before you let your pet by other pets.
  • Advantix, for example, is used on dogs but toxic to cats. If you pet your dog and then a cat before the administered Advantix has dried on the fur, you may cause a toxicity to the cat. If your pets are likely to groom one another make sure the product has completely dried before the cat comes in contact with the dog with Advantix on his skin.
  • Since the main ingredient of Advantix, permethrin, cannot be metabolized in cats, cats will seizure if Advantix is administered to or gets on a cat.

Think ahead, and make sure to put the dermal preventative on your animal a few days before you are planning to leave to ensure that you are not unintentionally poisoning the host’s pet. This will allow for all pets to enjoy their cheap pet-friendly vacation, without you having to worry about harming other pets.

Make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations.

  • Your pet should be fully vaccinated before taking her to visit other pet-friendly households. At your annual veterinary exam they will let you know if your pet needs specific vaccinations.
  • It may also be of benefit to remember during your yearly veterinary exam, the other states and towns you may be traveling to. Some places may have a high prevalence of Lyme disease while other places do not.

If you are planning on visiting family in an area where Lyme disease is highly prevalent, you will want to consider also getting this vaccination so that your pet is fully protected during this cheap pet-friendly vacation.

Is your pet not acting like herself?

Odd Behavior

  • If your pet is showing any abnormal signs or is not acting like herself it may be better to take her to a veterinarian’s office to get a check up and have her boarded during your scheduled time away. The last thing you want to do is take a sick pet with you to visit family.
  • If your pet is vomiting, has diarrhea, sleeping too often and immobile (lethargic), extra vocal, looks to be in pain, not drinking enough water, drinking too much water or just acting strange, take her to a veterinarian’s office instead of that family get together. A pet owner knows her pet the best. Often, a pet owner knows the pet is “under the weather” even before the pet is showing clear clinical signs.
  • Trust yourself and take your animal to the veterinarian’s.

You will not forgive yourself if you get a family member’s pet sick or if your pet becomes sicker away from the comfort of his or her own home and veterinarian.

evilsciencechick / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

If you want to see other great tips on being a good houseguest read, “Want a Cheap Pet- Friendly Vacation?”.

 This article provides a selection of helpful veterinary tips for your next cheap pet-friendly vacation. -Travel Animal Doctor

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Jessica Claudio, DVM



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