Magda Szajcz, a Saanich veterinarian, brings Salmon, her parti coloured poodle, to work with her every day. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

B.C. vet talks tips for winter travel with pets

Going to see the vet the day before a trip is never a good idea

Whether it’s a plane ride or a road trip, for many, the holidays involve some traveling and sometimes that means taking pets along for the adventure.

Magda Szajcz, a veterinarian at the Cadboro Bay Vet Clinic, recommends people plan for a pet’s trip the way they plan for their own. She suggests making a checklist well in advance.

Depending on the travel destination, pets may need vaccines, medications or a health certificate, Szajcz explained. When crossing international borders, pets need a vet check-up to ensure they meet the country’s requirements – each country’s requirements are unique and change frequently.

READ ALSO: The pool is going to the dogs at West Shore Parks and Recreation

Szajcz encourages pet owners to contact their vet to ask questions and find out about the potential health risks in their vacation destination – heartworm and ticks are just some of the risks to prepare for. She noted that as with humans, going to a medical professional the day before a trip is a bad idea. Some health checks and vaccines need to be planned several weeks in advance and pets’ prescriptions should also be filled with lead time.

For winter travel, Szajcz emphasized the importance of keeping pets warm, hydrated and comfortable. She recommends bringing a supply of the pet’s favourite food so their diet doesn’t have to change adding more stress. She also pointed out that asking if the travel destination is pet-friendly – even if it’s someone’s home – is important.

Pets should also be in travel crates rather than on laps while on car trips so that they’re safe in case of a crash, Szajcz noted. Practice time with crates before the trip can help the pet adjust. Pet seat belts and barricades are also available for car travel.

READ ALSO: Saanich council scratches cat control bylaws

When traveling by plane or train, Szajcz said it’s important to call the company to ask about pet regulations and talk to a vet about medications to reduce your pet’s stress during the trip.

Depending on the individual pet, boarding them or getting a house sitter may be a better option than travel to avoid stress, Szajcz said. Her own poodle, Salmon, isn’t a fan of travel.

Ask a vet what it may look like when your pet is stressed and work to read their cues, Szajcz suggested. Not eating, changes in activity, clinginess and constant searching are all signs that pets aren’t comfortable.

Szajcz emphasized that with kennels, there are often still vaccines and health certificates required.

As each pet is unique, Szajcz hopes people contact their vet for specific travel tips. Disease maps and travel tips are available online and doing research can help pet owners know what questions to ask.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Naked Naturals has tentative deal for $2.5M purchase of town-owned in Qualicum Beach

Business plan includes a new grocery store, 32 units of rental housing and parking

Johns talks grants, veteran housing pilot with Qualicum Beach council

MP says he will help push for funding at the federal level

Parksville kids shovel neighbourhood driveways during snow day

Group of youngsters will donate the $185 raised to charity

Parksville man, 94, among oldest members of the Submariners Association of Canada

Ian Hopkins spent time in the Arctic in a submarine in the 1940s with the Royal Navy

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

B.C. offers $5 million equipment loan program to help ailing forest contractors

Local politicians in Port McNeill and Campbell River says local economies are struggling

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

RDN looking at upgrading or relocating north Nanaimo transit exchange

Current bus loop at north Nanaimo mall at capacity, says staff report

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read