Keeping Pets Healthy During Travel

By: Dr. Nelva J. Bryant, DVM, MPH, the Premier Expert in Pet Travel

During the Holiday Seasons and throughout the year, we want you to travel with your pets. However, we want them to remain healthy. When traveling with your dog or cat, be mindful of the potential health risks. Something simple as going hiking or to a dog park or traveling to another state or country, may expose your pet to new sources of infectious diseases.  

Happy woman packing suitcase with pet cat

These infectious diseases can be transmitted via multiple methods:

  • Aerosol (inhalation of infectious material)
  • Oral (ingestion of infectious material)
  • Direct contact (contact with an infected animal)
  • Vectors (exposure to fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and other insects that transmit disease)
  • Fomites (through contact with surfaces containing infectious material)

Let’s keep our pets healthy during travel by following these tips:

  • Provide bottled water to control what your pet drinks.
  • Never allow your dog or cat to drink ground water or water from ponds, lakes, streams, or rivers.
  • Travel with your pets’ food and provide it to prevent diarrhea associated with changing their diet.
  • Utilize anti-parasitic treatments to deter exposure to mosquitos, fleas, ticks, and other insects.
  • Keep your dog or cat away from pets (and their bedding/toys) with an unknown vaccination history.
  • Keep your dog or cat away from wild animals.
  • Inform your veterinarian of recent travel if your pet becomes ill after returning home.

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