Pet Travel Safety

When preparing for any travel with your pet, don’t forget his or her needs. Travel requirements for your pet should include a leash, favourite toys, blanket, treats, water, food, bowls and any medications. Proper ID’s, up-to-date vaccinations & a stocked pet first aid kit should always be packed, even for short day trips.

Here are some tips when travelling:

  • Accustom them to travel, beginning with brief, frequent trips.
  • Before you depart, make sure your destination spot welcomes pets. A great place to find out more information is online at www.petswelcome.com.
  • In vehicles, secure your pets in a well-ventilated hard carrier that allows the pet to move around or a pet seat belt harness, similar to our seatbelts. For larger dogs, special gates are available. It is illegal to allow an unrestrained animal to travel in the back of an open truck. Carriers prevent pets from wandering about inside the vehicle. Numerous road accidents have been caused when a driver is distracted by a pet. Carriers also prevent escapes through open windows and doors. They can be useful if overnight motel accommodations are required.
  • When travelling with a cat, it’s unlikely you will want to bring along your cat’s usual litter box, but bring along the same type of litter you use at home as it is familiar to your cat. Take some disposable litter trays along with you. Alternatively, you can bring along a small litter tray that is not disposable, to be used with a scooper and bags that can be disposed of.
  • Never leave pets in a closed vehicle on a warm day. Even with the windows down, they can quickly overheat causing heatstroke and possibly even death.
  • If you are flying and your pet is small enough to go under the seat, choose that option. It is the safest and most comfortable for them. Make sure your pet is in good health as flying is stressful and a sick or elderly pet’s health can be compromised with air travel.
  • Pets should be fasted 2-3 hours prior to travel (or during the trip) to help prevent motion sickness. To prevent accidents, exercise your pet before leaving and ensure they have time to urinate and/or defecate.
  • For lengthy trips, special instructions such as feeding, bathroom routines, medication regimes and special habits should be written down. It is important to get a clean bill of health from your veterinarian including proof of up-to-date vaccinations and a current rabies certificate. In addition, you must inquire into customs and air regulations if you will be flying your pet or crossing into another country. During prolonged car trips, allow brief “pit stops” every 2-3 hours for your pet to eliminate.
  • Pet identification should travel with your pet. This includes the current rabies tag, license tag, and a luggage tag with the name, address, destination, and emergency contact numbers. Remember that a Humane Society tattoo traces the pet to you only in Manitoba, while a microchip can identify your pet internationally.
  • At no time should you medicate your pet with human tranquillizers or another pet’s prescription? Always check with your veterinarian first to discuss sedatives while travelling.
  • Never allow your pet to extend its body out the window as wind, dust and debris may injure the eyes, ears or nasal passages.
  • If you are travelling to the beach or lake areas, invest in a life vest – even dogs that can swim can get caught in waves, currents and riptides. Use pet-safe sunscreen! Your dog’s ears and nose are very susceptible to burning.
  • If your pet is not a good traveller then maybe you should consider leaving them with friends, relatives or at a clean, well-run boarding facility.

Following the above tips will help to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for all. HAPPY TRAVELS.

For more information, please contact our hospital at 204-269-8162 or our boarding facility at 204-261-5928.

Written by Centennial Animal Hospital

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Water Intoxication

Water Intoxication in Dogs

Does your dog like to play in the water? Too much of a good thing can be dangerous, so look out for water intoxication!Water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia is a relatively rare but potentially fatal condition that is most commonly seen in dogs that love to play in the water. Water games that involve retrieving items or diving into pools to catch toys can cause them to ingest large quantities of water very quickly. It can also happen when they “catch” pressurized water from sprinklers or hoses.Excessive amounts of water cause the body to lose sodium. The body's cells begin to fill with water and swell. If the cells in the brain swell, it can affect the central nervous system which can be fatal.Symptoms include:loss of coordination lethargy bloating vomiting glazed eyes excessive salivation difficulty breathing seizures comaWater intoxication progresses quickly so if your pet has been playing in the water and begins to show any of the signs mentioned above, it's crucial to seek veterinary care immediately to save your dog's life.Treatment of water intoxication typically includes IV delivery of electrolytes, diuretics and drugs to reduce brain swelling. With aggressive veterinary care, some dogs are able to recover, but sadly, many do not.It's important to closely watch dogs that are very active in water and ensure they take regular breaks in between playing. Be especially careful on days when the water is rough. If your dog empties their water bowl after playing hard or exercise, ensure they are rested before refilling the bowl.Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of water intoxication to keep your furry family member safe!If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 204-269-8162 or by email at info@centennialanimalhospital.com.Written by Centennial Animal Hospital

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