Traveling with your dog

Written by Dr. Levente Degi

If you are planning to take your beloved companion on a trip with you please keep in mind that there are some general points to consider.

First of all, it’s important to make sure that your companion is in good health. If not, she or he can easily have a serious setback as a result of exposure to different environmental conditions, or general unexpected situations created by traveling. I strongly recommend to have your dog examined by your family veterinarian.

All dogs are subject to disorientation and suffer from nervousness when traveling. Some of them will need a mild tranquilizer or sedative. For advice, please ask your family veterinarian and follow recommendations and dosage requirements exactly.

Unfortunately 1 in 6 dogs in Canada suffers from motion sickness when traveling in the car. If your companion gets anxious, drools excessively, appears tired or seems clearly uncomfortable, she or he may be experiencing motion sickness. There is a veterinary approved product designed to prevent motion sickness in dogs, and it is available at your veterinary clinic.

It is important to restrict your dog’s food intake 2 hours prior to traveling. Your companion travels better without nervous digestive upset caused by a full stomach, and the stress of unfamiliar people, places and handling. Before hitting the road make sure that your companion relieved her or himself, has enough room to comfortably lie down, and is able to look out a window. It is recommended to drive smoothy and take a break every 2-3 hours. If you have a puppy, you should get her or him used to traveling by starting with short trips at the beginning. Considering a car safety harness for your companion is an excellent way to make sure that your car traveling is safe and enjoyable.

If you are traveling with your companion to the southern Okanagan Valley between June and the first week of October, I strongly recommend to consider a heartworm preventative for your dog. Your companion also needs a heartworm preventative if traveling to southern Manitoba or Ontario, southwestern Quebec, New Brunswick, and/or the United States. Heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries of an infected adult dog, and it is a serious threat to your dog’s health. They acquire this infection through mosquito bites. Fortunately, dogs living on Vancouver Island are not exposed to heartworm and they do not require regular preventatives.

Also, when you are traveling it’s a good idea to make sure that your companion is on a regular flea medication. Dogs on Vancouver Island and in the lower mainland of British Columbia are at risk almost year round because of the mild winter weather. For more information and advise on heartworm preventitives and flea medication please contact your family veterinarian.

Next time we are going to talk about the growing problem of obesity in dogs and cats but until then, wherever you go and whatever you do, please remember to stay safe and have fun.

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About the author

Dr. Levente Degi

Downtown Veterinary Clinic is a full-service veterinary hospital that offers specialty and generalized pet care for cats and dogs. They offer a wide variety of diagnostic services, x-ray examinations, surgical procedures, dentistry, blood work, individualized vaccinations and scheduled routine check ups. They pride them selves on working closely with you and your pet to offer the best professional care available and are a high-quality vet clinic where you and your pet both love to visit. Not only dedicated to treating your pet, they also implement preventative care to keep your pets healthy and happy. The experienced and qualified team provides services that aid in making pets thrive. Through continuing education the Downtown Veterinary Clinic stays up to date with the most recent developments within the veterinarian field, and are devoted to exercising compassion in all of our interactions. Not only do they provide quality care to your pets, they also support you as the caretaker.