Travelling with your dog
We all love hitting the road and setting off for a holiday to an exotic location, many dogs included. Just like we need to think about going to the doctor for vaccinations, we need to plan ahead for our dogs too. Here are a few ideas to make your travels as safe and easy as possible for you and your pet:
- Parasite control: There are 2 parasites of major concern throughout Australia which are not in Central Victoria. These are Heartworm and Paralysis Ticks.
- Paralysis ticks can cause death within 24 hours of exposure, so it is very important to be vigilant about these. These ticks are found all the way down the East coast of Australia, including Victoria. There are some great products now available which prevent ticks, we find tasty chews the most effective option. Even so, we still recommend running your hands over your dog each night when travelling to check for ticks, particularly in small crevices such as between toes, in ears and around the eyes.
- Heartworm: this nasty parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes, so is most prevalent in the warmer areas of Australia, and around waterways. It takes around 6 months for an infestation to develop into adult heartworm (worms that grow in the chambers of the dog’s heart) so it won’t be obvious straight away. Prevention is much easier than a cure, as treatment is also dangerous! There are great prevention options including tasty chews, an annual injection or spot-on drops.
- One good tip is to phone a local veterinary clinic in the area to which you are travelling, and ask them which parasites you need to be aware of.
- Vaccinations: Many pet-friendly accommodation options (from Caravan parks to 5 star hotels, see petcheckin.com.au to get started) require your dog’s vaccinations to be up to date, including kennel cough. Check your records as to whether your dog has had a C5 vaccination in the last 12 months, or if you are unsure give us a call. In general a C5 is recommended for travels, it may be worth considering a C7 for far north QLD.
- Whilst you are checking the vaccination status, check that your dog’s microchip details are all up to date. Make sure your mobile phone number is current, so that if the unexpected happened, your dog could find his way back to you. This also stands for people going on holidays without their animals, as if a dog is left with a friend at home they are in an unusual environment (with untested fences) and is more likely to escape, especially without their usual owner around.
- Car travel: some dogs can become anxious or nauseous on a car ride. Make sure you have driven for a decent (40+ minutes) trip with your dog before heading off (5 minutes around town might not be enough to assess properly), and if you do have concerns talk to us about options to avoid these problems.
- Medication: If your dog is on long term medication (or needs some on occasion), make sure you have enough to last the trip (and maybe a few extra in case they get spat out and buried). Also check storage requirements as they might need to be taken out of the car to avoid overheating.
- Overseas travel or relocation will require long term planning, for Rabies and other vaccinations. Jetpets.com.au is a great starting point to find out what is required, both for overseas export and for air travel within Australia.
- A great tip is to note the location, hours and contact phone number of a local veterinary clinic where you will be staying so that if an emergency occurs, you will be able to seek immediate help.