Traveling with Pets

Pet Health and Safety  •  Pam Karkow  •  Friday, May 15, 2020

The idea of traveling with your pet can seem overwhelming, but if you do your research and follow these simple tips, you can pull it off without a hitch. With the holidays quickly approaching, I’ve put together some tips and tricks for traveling with your beloved animals.

Tips for Traveling with Pets

Whether traveling by train, plane, or automobile, here are some universal tips to follow…

  1. Keep your pet’s medical records up to date and carry a copy with you. Bring along a few pet insurance claim forms in case you have to visit a vet so you can be reimbursed quickly!

  2. Make sure your pet is wearing appropriate identification tags.

  3. Carry a current photograph in case you and your pet are separated.

  4. Use a crate for your dog or cat.  See Crate Traveling for Cats for more tips.

  5. Have plenty of water available for your pet.

Road Trips with Pets

  1. Bring sufficient food and water.  A collapsible bowl like this one can come in handy for long rides.  One reviewer of the Ruffwear Quencher Dog Bowl called it indestructible.

  2. Obtain a copy of the AAA PetBook.  In it you will find pet-friendly Diamond Rated hotels, campgrounds, restaurants (with outside eating areas), kennel services, dog parks, and emergency clinics.  

  3. Keep a first aid kit handy.  Check out A Guide for Traveling By Car With Your Pet for a detailed list of items to keep in your first aid kit.

  4. Know where rest areas are located along your route.

Flying with Your Pet

  1. Obtain a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection to prove your pet is healthy enough to travel and will not pass illnesses on to other passengers (a licensed, accredited vet will need to perform the exam).

  2. Check to see if an acclimation certificate is necessary.  Visit for more information.

  3. If possible, schedule a direct flight on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday (lighter travel days).

  4. Plan to feed your pet no sooner than four hours before boarding.

  5. Contact the visiting nation’s embassy or consulate to find out customs policies when traveling internationally.  

  6. Visit the CDC’s Traveling with Pets and Federal Aviation Administration’s Flying With Pets for more information on how to prepare for air travel with your pet.

Start Training Early!

If you know you will want your fur baby to travel with you, it is important that you start training him/her on travel etiquette at a young age.  It’s also important that throughout your travel experience, you remain patient and calm. Consider enrolling in pet insurance before your trip in case an accident or injury occurs to your pet during your travel.  Happy trails!



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