Summer is here and we are all excited to be on holiday, perhaps even travelling with our pets. With more than 25 million pets in Australia, you can expect to see plenty of fur babies on the road this holiday season. A family trip isn’t complete without your four-legged best friend, but traveling with pets is stressful on not only you, but your pet. Here are some tips from Dr. Matt of Love That Pet Normanhurst on how to keep your pet safe during travel.

Travel tips with Pets

No matter how close or far you are going, it is important your pet is microchipped. “Dog tags are great, but having your contact information up to date on the microchip has the best guarantee for the safe return of your pet”, says Dr. Matt. It is also a good idea to have a temporary dog tag made with the name, address and cell number of where you are staying during your trip. It’s unlikely your pet will get lost, but it is better safe than sorry.

The needs of your pet during travel depends on the age and health of your pet, as well as if you are travelling by air or car. Unless your pet can be safely stowed under the airplane seat, it is best to avoid air travel. There may be restriction on what months of the year your pet can travel. It is also worthwhile to note air travel may be particularly hard on pets. If you are not able to avoid air travel, these tips will help keep your pet safest.

Air Travel

  1. See your vet before you depart. Make sure your pets vaccinations are up to date, you refill any necessary prescriptions and you obtain a health certificate clearing your pet for air travel. This document will need to be dated within 10 days of departure.
  2. In general, most pets do not require to be tranquilized. The risks associate with tranquilizing are breathing interference and in rare occasions, a severe reaction. Pets fly in cargo space and there will not be anyone to monitor your pet during the flight. If you have an anxious pet, discuss with your veterinarian ways to relax your pet without tranquilizers.
  3. Always book a direct flight. This decreases the chances of your beloved pet being mishandled by baggage personnel, and also ensures your pet will not be left on the tarmac during extreme heat (or cold).
  4. Purchase an airline approved crate for travel. Your pet needs sufficient room to sit, stand and turn around. Line your crate with bedding to absorb accidents. Check with your airline on guidelines of sending food and water with your pet. Properly secure the crate, but do no lock it in case air personnel have to open the crate. Clearly identify the crate as LIVE ANIMAL. Include a photo of your pet, destination and cell phone number.
  5. Let airline personnel know you are traveling with your pet. If your flight is delayed or your change planes, be sure to remind personnel about your pet.

Car Travel
Traveling by car involves more than simply loading the pet into your car. The distance of your trip will determine how extensive your preparations must be. These car travel safety tips will help your fur baby arrive happy and healthy to your destination. Traveling with a pet by car involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off, especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. Here are a few car travel safety tips to help you prepare for a smooth and safe trip.

  1. Be sure to have your pet’s vaccination record handy. While generally you will not encounter any issues, it is better to have proof of vaccinations ready to show.
  2. Properly restrain your pet. It could save your pets life. Sleepypod has the only range of pet carriers and harnesses that are crash-tested and proven to keep your pet safe during a collision or sudden stop are made. The pet carrier has dual use as it converts into a snuggly bed.
  3. Pack a travel kit. It is perfectly acceptable to without food while on the road, but it is crucial you continue to offer water. Stop frequently for bathroom breaks. Pack your pets favorite blanket, or toy to keep him comfortable during travel.
  4. Never leave your pet unattended in a car. Even if the windows are open, a parked car becomes a furnace in no time. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, causing your pet to quickly be affected by hypothermia.

These tips can help keep your pet safe, and make travel more enjoyable for your pet. Book pet friendly accommodations and see if there are local places your pet is welcome. For many of us, pets are family. Create memories with your pet and enjoy your travels.

These tips can help keep your pet safe, and make travel more enjoyable for your pet. Book pet friendly accommodations and see if there are local places your pet is welcome. For many of us, pets are family. Create memories with your pet and enjoy your travels.

More about travelling with pets


  1. Hello Dr Jo! It is very kind of you to share this information and it really matters when you own a pet or pets. Yes, I do have a dog and it becomes difficult when we have to travel without him as he is very sensitive to the environment. But, I guess after reading your blog, I shall give it a try the next holidays when we plan a trip.

  2. Hello Alice, Sounds like you have fun travelling with your pet! You should write a blog post for me about your travel adventures – when things go right and when they go wrong! Let me know if you’re interested 🙂

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