News & Info

Summer Vacations

Summer vacations are fast approaching, and whether your pets will be going with you, staying with a sitter, or boarding there are some important documents that you should consider having updated.

Traveling pets:

  1. Pets traveling by air within the US will need to have a health certificate filled out by an accredited veterinarian not more than 10 days prior to the flight.  The certificate will show that the animal is in good health, is up to date on vaccinations, and is physically able to handle the trip.  In order to have this filled out you should make an appointment specifically for a health certificate, and be sure to bring the address at which you will be staying when you reach your destination. 
  2. Pets traveling by air outside the US will need different documentation.  Contact the health department of the destination country and your accredited veterinarian to determine what specific paperwork, testing, and vaccinations are needed.
  3. ALL owners should bring a few simple things with them when traveling with their pets.
    1. The name and number of their pets' regular veterinarian.  If you have an emergency at your destination your regular vet can update the emergency veterinarian on any medication conditions, treatments, or other special considerations your pet may need. 
    2. The name and number of a veterinarian with emergency hours at your destination.  A quick internet search can usually yield good results, or you can ask friends or family for recommendations. 
    3. Your pets' current vaccination records.
    4. A list of any medications your pet is on, including the dosages and when each medication is given. 

Pets staying at home with a pet sitter, or staying at a boarding facility:

  1. Just as with traveling pets all pets staying at home should have contact information for their veterinarian, the number of an emergency veterinarian, their current vaccination records, and their current medications written down in an easily accessible location for a pet sitter to find.  A good idea is to have a 3 ring binder with this information printed out.  This allows you to easily add or modify information as needed.
  2. A brief outline of your pets' daily routine:  mealtimes, walk times, special toys or games they like to play, etc.  Your pet will miss you while you're gone, but a familiar routine can help ease any anxiety that they may feel.
  3. Contact information for the owner.  This can be a hotel number, a cell phone number, or an e-mail address.  In case of an emergency your veterinarian will want to be able to contact you to determine what the best course of treatment is for your pet.   
  4. A release form allowing the pet sitter or boarding facility to authorize emergency veterinary care for your pet.  Most boarding facilities will have their own form for this.  A few things that should be clearly outlined are listed below, but modifications should be made based on you and your pets' individual situation:
    1. Who the pet is owned by
    2. The name and number or your pets' regular veterinarian
    3. Who is the person responsible for care of the pet in lieu of the owner, and on what dates
    4. What sort of financial constraints or limitations there are on treatment of emergencies

Accidents and emergencies can happen at any time, even when you're on vacation.  Having these documents updated allows you to relax and enjoy yourself, knowing that the information is there should you need it.