Hitting the Road with Fluffy and Fido: Traveling with Pets

November 22, 2010

A recently published survey of pet owners throughout the world, found most 61% of pet owners take their pets on holiday more than once a year and travel more than 50 miles from their homes. Because so many pet owners who come to The Animal Medical Center ask a variety of questions about traveling with their pets, The AMC has two previous blog posts about travel to help address the common questions that arise. One post is devoted exclusively to international travel.

In addition, to help you prepare for any upcoming trips, I searched the Internet to compile a list of useful websites for the traveling pet and his owner. It is important to remember that the regulations for international travel are not standardized between countries and change frequently. So remember, your only source for pet travel information should be the country’s website and their consulate. The US Department of State has links to various countries’ consulates.

If you are bringing an animal into the USA from another country, importation is regulated by the Centers for Disease Control. This applies to American pets who are returning home as well as to foreign born pets entering for the first time.

General Travel Information

Pet Travel Clubs

These websites provide travel information for their members:

  • “Take Your Pet” offers a free pet travel newsletter to those who register. To access lists of pet friendly hotels, lists of pet related services and message boards, the fee is $1.95.
  • “Pets On The Go” is another membership travel website. To access their newsletter and concierge service for pet travel questions, the fee is $15/year.

Pet Shipping

Vacation is not always the reason for travel. When families relocate for business, moving the family pet can be challenging. To find a pet shipping service check the website of the Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association International (IPATA). For a pet shipper to be a member, they must be legally registered to conduct business and provide animal shipping services. In the United States, shippers must be USDA certified to handle animals.

Pet Travel Products

  • Check out the Pet Travel Store for all your pet’s travel needs: collapsible bowl, disposable litter trays and a nifty hotel door hanger to remind the housekeeping staff you have a pet inside.
  • Life jackets for the boating dog and collapsible cat playpens may be just the vacation items your pets needs. They can be found online at J-B Wholesale Pet Supplies.

Be prepared. Do all that you can to ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone.

Have you taken your pet on vacation or traveled more than 50 miles with him? Share your experiences below in the “comments” section.

This blog may also be found in the “Tales from the Pet Clinic” blog from WebMD.
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For nearly a century, The Animal Medical Center has been a national leader in animal health care, known for its expertise, innovation and success in providing routine, specialty and emergency medical care for companion animals. Thanks in part to the enduring generosity of donors, The AMC is also known for its outstanding teaching, research and compassionate community funds. Please help us to continue these efforts. Send your contribution to: The Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065. For more information, visit www.amcny.org. To make an appointment, please call 212.838.7053.


Taking Better Care of Our Cats

January 20, 2010

It seems that cats are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to veterinary care. Research has shown that cat owners are taking their cats to the vet less often. Research sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association determined 83% of dogs see a veterinarian annually while only 64% of cats see a veterinarian annually.

Cats are medically underserved, in part because owners are unaware how sick their cat is. Cats, being the clever creatures that they are, can hide illness until it has reached catastrophic proportions.

cat-vaccineThe veterinarians at The AMC recommend annual examinations for all healthy younger cats and for senior cats (>7 years of age) twice annual examination. During the examination, your cat’s veterinarian will monitor your cat’s weight and body condition score as a measure of his/her overall health. The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends the minimum database in senior cats include a complete blood count, chemistry screen, and urinalysis.  Once cats pass their 10th birthday, testing thyroid function and blood pressure are recommended. Together, you and the veterinarians will discuss your cat’s lifestyle and decide on what preventive healthcare measures are required to keep you cat in tip top condition. The preventive measures include: vaccinations, parasite prevention, behavioral interventions and nutritional recommendations. Your cat’s veterinarian may suggest testing for occult infections such as feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus and feline heartworms.

People other than just those of us at The AMC are thinking about cats and cat health too. There is an interesting new cat website (www.kittytest.com).  This website displays the frequency of important cat diseases by geographic location. The information contained in kittensthis website will help the cat owner determine how often a disease is diagnosed in their county and open the door for a risk analysis for their cat with the family veterinarian. This website is similar to, but not the same as, a registry of disease for people like the governmental vital statistics bureau. The data shown on the website is compiled from the tests performed since 2000 by only one laboratory, but it will help cat owners to know how common these diseases are in their neighborhoods and give them some information with which to open a discussion with their veterinarian. Ultimately, any medical tests and treatments should be customized to the lifestyle issues of your cat.

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For nearly a century, The Animal Medical Center has been a national leader in animal health care, known for its expertise, innovation and success in providing routine, specialty and emergency medical care for companion animals. Thanks in part to the enduring generosity of donors, The AMC is also known for its outstanding teaching, research and compassionate community funds. Please help us to continue these efforts.  Send your contribution to: The Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065. For more information, visit www.amcny.org. To make an appointment, please call 212.838.7053.


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