Traveling with a sick pet presents unique pet travel challenges.

You may be over the river and through the woods this holiday season, but if you have a pet who is sick, immunocompromised, affected by cancer, or otherwise not well it can make things a little more complicated. The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital have you covered, though, with our tips for traveling with a sick pet.

Things to Consider When Traveling with a Sick Pet

It can be stressful enough taking a pet on a trip. You need to remember all the associated supplies, plan your pit stops, and be sure that you have everything that you might need along the way.

When traveling with sick pet, however, the ante is upped considerably. It is important to consider a few factors when planning the trip:

  • The pet’s immune status
  • What medical needs might be encountered while you are gone
  • Medications or treatments that will need to be administered and the logistics of doing so
  • How stressed the pet may become during travel and what effects this might have on overall health
  • What health risks the pet may be exposed to and how real the risk may be

Sometimes when these things are assessed, the risk of bringing a special needs pet along outweighs the benefits. In these situations it may be best to board the pet at a facility such as ours that is capable of meeting any special medical needs. An in-home pet sitter comfortable with the situation can also be a good option for most pets.

Travel Tips

If you do decide that it is worthwhile to bring your furry patient along, being prepared is very important. Anticipation of potential health needs is vital to everyone enjoying their time away from home.

Make a list and check it twice. Besides all the typical supplies, don’t forget:

  • All of your pet’s medications (be sure you have enough for the entire trip as well as some cushion in case of emergency)
  • A copy of your pet’s current medical records and current medications should you need to seek veterinary care
  • A list of veterinary hospitals and/or referral centers along your route that are capable of helping your pet should you find yourself in need
  • A plan for puppy pit stops (try to let you pet stretch their paws in less doggy-dense areas to decrease the risk of exposure to diseases)
  • To double check that your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and preventatives that are safe to be updated
  • Any items or medications that may make travel more comfortable (anti-nausea drugs, supplements for anxiety, a familiar blanket)

Just because your pet has special health concerns doesn’t mean that you can’t include them in your travels. Certainly there are situations in which the risks outweigh the benefits, but in most situations it is doable with a little planning. Please note that for international travel, we ask that you please contact us at least a week in advance to make an appointment for the doctor to see you and for us to prepare the proper paperwork, and assist you with complying with the USDA guidelines.

If you need help trying to decide whether to bring along your four-legged patient or not, please give us a call. We are happy to help you assess the situation.