Pet owners who choose to travel the country while following appropriate precautions during and after the Covid-19 pandemic may be concerned about leaving their pets at home. While transporting a pet across the country can seem daunting, with the right planning, owners need to be sure they can take their furry friend where they need to go. Christine Rutter, clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says pet owners should notify their airline, accommodation, and veterinarian of their intention to travel with their pet as soon as possible. Owners should also contact the proper authorities to make sure their pet has the proper documentation. “Technically, any transport of an animal across national borders requires a USDA health certificate issued by a USDA certified veterinarian,” Rutter said. It’s best to check the specific requirements of your destination to make sure you’re in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations when you arrive. When obtaining the appropriate documentation from your veterinarian, owners should ensure their pet is up to date on all vaccinations, heartworm prevention, prevention of ectoparasites (such as fleas and ticks) , has a chip registered with current contact information, and a legible tag on their collar or harness. Tags should include the animal’s name, an emergency phone number, and any relevant medical information. “If your pet is given medication every day, make sure you have enough to last your entire trip and ask your vet if it’s worth having a hard copy of the prescriptions. in case the drugs are lost, ”said Rutter. Pet owners who use a medical device, such as a blood glucose monitor or pacemaker, should speak to their veterinarian about available resources near their destination. If your pet is suffering from anxiety or motion sickness, ask your vet how to best meet his needs while traveling. “A lot of our pets don’t live very exciting lives when it comes to travel, so the hustle and bustle of travel can come as a real shock,” said Rutter. “A few weeks before traveling, familiarize your animal with the crate or carrier in which it will be traveling. Hiding treats or feeding your pet in the carrier, providing a comfortable bed in the carrier, and taking short car trips in the carrier can help make the travel experience less scary. Rutter also recommends keeping your pet in a travel crate or carrier when unattended in a new environment. This keeps your pet from messing around and ensures your pet is in a safe and familiar place.Owners can also help create a familiar environment for their pet by using the same litter their cat uses at home when of his travels, and nurturing them consistently. diet. Avoiding the introduction of new foods and treats during travel can also reduce the risk of digestive incidents.More importantly, Rutter recommends that pet owners anticipate their four-legged friend’s needs and prepare for emergencies. . This includes carrying garbage bags, water, urgent medication, and at least a small portion of your pet’s food. Owners should also be aware of the pet rescue areas at the airport, if any. Owners may wish to research where local emergency vet centers are along their route or near their destination. They may also wish to purchase pet insurance for their pet and should keep their policy handy when traveling. If possible, include insurance information on your pet’s collar or harness tag.Finally, Rutter reminds owners that their furry friend may behave differently when exposed to travel stressors. Make sure your pet wears a collar or harness with a tag at all times during the trip in case of an escape attempt. Fearful animals can bite as well, so give your pet plenty of time to acclimate to new environments before challenging them to encounter new people and other animals, and make sure they are properly supervised. Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be found on the Pet Talk website. Suggestions for future topics can be addressed to [email protected] .