Travelling long term with a pet can be both very rewarding and highly challenging. National Veterinary Care has this advice to help make your Big Lap – and that of your furry friend – a successful and happy one …
‘As you embark on your next, exciting journey across the beauty that is Australia, it is important to take a minute to think about your furry travelling partner.
There are a few easy and important steps to take before hitching up the caravan and hitting the road. By contacting a local vet in the area that you are planning to travel to, you can get a summary of the potential risks; this could be common parasites or recommended vaccinations and medications.
Especially if you’re heading to the warmer regions, creatures such as snakes, stingers, cane toads and jellyfish are commonly found. While these warm and sunny conditions make you slip, slop, slap the sunscreen, don’t forget about your furry child! Just like humans, the harmful sun rays can burn their ears, eyes and bellies, especially if your pet enjoys some sunbaking.
Most vets sell a petfriendly UV cream that you can apply daily. No matter where you go, it is a good idea to give your pet preventative parasite medication before travelling.
The common parasites that you should watch out for are: heartworm, hookworm, paralysis ticks and, of course, fleas. Make sure to check with a local veterinarian about what is required in the area you are visiting. It would be a good idea to make sure your medical pack is stocked to last you the whole trip, and that your pet has had some time at the groomers to clip their long hair.
During your trip, there are a few things to remember. Some cats and dogs tend to get car sick. You can talk to your vet about medication to help, otherwise it would be best to start taking your pet on a few short car trips to get them used to the motion and environment.
Extreme temperatures in the car affect your furry companion and animals tend to dehydrate quicker than humans. This makes drink breaks during long days of travelling vital.
Your pet needs to be properly restrained in the car. All cages or boxes should be strapped in with a seatbelt and out of direct sunlight. Regular breaks to use the toilet, have a drink and stretch their legs is very important for your four-legged companion.
Don’t forget their leash, as you wouldn’t want them running off in the excitement of a new place. Finally, ensure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and that they can be identified by both a collar tag and up-to-date microchip.
With your pet first-aid kit packed, including betadine and a clean bandage, it seems you are ready to explore and experience all the wonders this beautiful country has to offer.’