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

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

Wrangle the Chute returns to Kicking Horse

Wrangle the Chute will be returning to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort from… Continue reading

Kicking Horse Update Friday January 17

Kicking Horse reports 10 cm of snow in the last 24 hours,with… Continue reading

Highway Update Friday January 17

On Highway 1, watch for slippery sections between Three Valley Avalanche Gate… Continue reading

Golden nominated for Kraft Hockeyville 2020

Nominations close on Feb. 9.

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

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

Most Read