As the summer approaches many of you may be taking summer holidays. For some, this could include a vacation that includes your furry family. Vacationing could be going to the cottage/trailer or even traveling to another country. In both circumstances it is important to ensure you have the appropriate paperwork and protection for your pets.
Local Travel (Cottages, Trailers, Camping)
Even though you may not be headed too far away it is a good idea to check with your veterinarian on any preventative health care your pet may need first. Things to consider could include:
- Is my pet up to date on vaccines? When out in nature, your pet could encounter wildlife, thus it is best to ensure they have an up to date rabies vaccination before going away. A second disease that can be carried by wildlife is leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is passed through contaminated urine via infected water sources (ie. puddles). There is a vaccine that can be given to prevent transmission to your pet. If you have more questions about this or want to know if your pet has been given this vaccine, it is best to contact your veterinarian.
- Is my pet on flea prevention? Fleas can be carried by all sorts of species. Your pet does not have to come in contact with wildlife to be able to pick up fleas. Flea eggs/larva can drop off wildlife and other pets allowing new fleas to develop in areas your pet may visit. This is why applying a preventative flea product before travel can help to prevent infestation. It is a good idea to protect your pet all summer anyways, as this time of year provides the ideal breeding temperature for fleas (hot & humid).
- Is my pet on heartworm prevention? Heartworm is a parasite that can be picked up by your pet through a mosquito bite. There are many combination products that are sold by your veterinary clinic that will protect your pet against both fleas & heartworm. These products, such as Revolution, Sentinel or Advantage Multi are applied once monthly. They are either a topical formula that is applied to the skin or a flavoured tablet.
- Is my pet on tick prevention? Tick populations are on the rise in Ontario. Ticks can carry several different diseased that may be passed onto your pet, such as Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis or Erhlichia. Once your pet tests positive for one of these diseases they will always be a carrier (which means you cannot get rid of it once they have it). They can go for periods of time where they show no symptoms of the disease, but symptoms could potentially arise at any time. Products such as Advantix are used once monthly to ensure a tick cannot bite your pet & pass these diseases. For more information on ticks & tick products you can contact your veterinarian.
Some other useful information to have on hand would be a copy of your pet’s medical records (in case of an injury), a contact number for a veterinarian close by your travel location, and the number for pet poision helpline. Ensure that your pet is wearing a collar & has up to date ID information on a tag in case they get lost. If you pet is on any medications, supplements or special diets – ensure you will have enough to last the length of time you are gone. If you are traveling near water, you may want to consider some water safety items, such as a life jacket if you are unsure if your pet can swim.
As long as you remain prepared you are sure to have a relaxing and enjoyable vacation with your pet.
International or Air Travel
If you are planning on traveling outside the country with your pet you will need to contact the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) to ensure you have all the appropriate paperwork required. Each country has different guidelines that are time sensitive, so it is recommended to start looking into this a few months before your planned travel. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure all the paperwork & testing required has been done. Your pet could potentially be denied access at the airport or country of destination if not done correctly. If you need extra assistance with the paperwork you should contact the CFIA local office (Port Perry) for further guidance.
CFIA Port Perry Office – 905-985-1870