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Pet Travel Safety

Learn how to prepare your pets for traveling.

Even if your pets normally stay at home when you vacation, they will need to travel with you during an evacuation. Evacuations are stressful for everyone, but with careful planning and preparation, you can minimize your fears and help your pet stay safe and calm.

Top Safety Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

  1. 1.

    Prepare your pet’s emergency kit.

  2. 2.

    Talk to your vet about medications your pet might need for travel, such as to reduce anxiety or travel sickness symptoms. Test them on your pet in advance, to ensure that your pet doesn't suffer any adverse side effects.

Traveling with Your Pet by Car

If you are traveling by car:
  • All cats should be in a crate or carrier.
  • Dogs can be either in crate or carrier, or restrained in a special harness that attaches to the seat belt. If you use a pet barrier in the back seat or deck of your SUV, be sure it is sturdy and firmly attached so it does not collapse on your pet.
  • Never allow your pet to ride in the front passenger seat (especially one that is airbag equipped).
  • Never let your pet out of the car without proper restraint.
  • Don’t allow your pet to ride with their head out the window; they could get hurt by flying debris.
  • Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. He or she will be vulnerable to heat stroke or theft.
  • If you are traveling out of town, stop regularly so that your pet can stretch his legs and have a drink of water.
  • Traveling with Your Pet on an Airplane

    If you are traveling by air:
  • Know that last minute air travel with pets is not always possible, and each airline and destination may have its own regulations, including for vaccinations and quarantine.
  • If your pet is small, you may be able to carry him or her onboard with you (in a crate—check airline rules).
  • If your pet must travel in the luggage or cargo area: a) take a direct flight; b) travel on the same flight as your pet; c) don't travel when temperatures are above 85 degrees Fahrenheit or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit; and d) ask to watch your pet being loaded and unloaded.
  • Notify the captain and at least one flight attendant that your pet is in the cargo area.
  • If the plane has to taxi for a long time, ask that a temperature check be taken on the cargo area. Pets have been harmed because cargo area temperatures got too hot or too cold while the airplane taxied.
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