What is the best way to find a veterinarian for my dog when we are traveling?

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Advance preparation is a MUST when traveling with your dog. That includes finding a veterinarian before you reach your destination. While you, hopefully, won’t need it, the last thing you’ll want to do is scramble around at the last minute if you do need it.

Here’s what you should do:

• Make a list of veterinary hospitals within one hour’s drive from any given point on your route. Note the office hours. You may also want to give them a call to let them know you’ll be in the area and will possibly be calling them.
• Talk to your veterinarian about any necessary medications and health certificates.
• If you will be traveling out of the country, check information regarding vaccinations, quarantines and paperwork for international travel.

Traveling with a pet can be a lot of fun, or a nightmare. You should look at it from a completely holistic view. You need to be prepared on all fronts, because one thing will always affect another.

Other things you should consider:

• How will you be traveling? A few airlines allow a limited number of small dogs in the cabin, but they are mostly considered cargo. Know this ahead of time so you can determine if it will be a problem.

• Check online, at the library and book stores, or with your auto club for dog-friendly hotels and motels.

• If you are driving, plan to stop every 3-5 hours to allow your dog to relieve herself, drink water and stretch her legs. Some dogs get car sick; talk to your vet about possible medications. Remember, too, that all dogs need car seats!

• If you plan to provide a crate or your pet, and make sure the animal can stand erectly inside the crate. If flying, make sure it’s clearly marked “live animals inside.”

• If you will be traveling out of the country, check information regarding vaccinations, quarantines and paperwork for international travel.

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