If you are travelling with your pets this Christmas or over the summer holiday period it is worth taking a few precautions to keep your family and your pets safe and stress free.
Your pet should be constrained in the car with a harness, or have them travel in a cage.
A loose animal in a vehicle becomes a torpedo in a vehicle accident. Not only will a flying dog injure itself but it will be a danger to others too. An unsecured dog can smash through a windscreen if a vehicle suddenly stops.
Dogs travelling on the back of utes should be tethered to a central point and with short enough lead that they can’t fall off. The injuries we see from dogs being dragged by vehicles are horrendous.
Some pets will get stressed in a car and this maybe related to travel sickness. There are anti-nausea tablets now available from your vet specifically for motion sickness. They need to be given an hour or so before travelling.
We often are asked about sedating cats for travel, but generally the recommendation is to avoid this. There is no registered product, and especially in older cats there can be adverse side effects. Have them travel in a cage that they are familiar with, and that is big enough for a litter tray and water. There are pheromones sprays available for cats and dogs that can help reduce anxiety.
Never leave your pet in the car alone. You may just want to pop into a shop for 2 minutes, but if you are unexpectedly delayed for even 10 minutes, the temperature in a car in the full sun can reach 40C. After 20 minutes heat stroke will be a real danger. We rarely go through a summer without seeing a case of hyperthermia and if not treated quickly heat stroke can be fatal.
If you decide to leave your pet behind, remember that kennels and catteries will require vaccinations to be current
So take it easy. Have regular and frequent stops to stretch you and your dog’s legs. Provide plenty of water and stay safe….and don’t forget to pop into the clinic for a Christmas Treat for your pet.
Otaki Veterinary Centre
269 Mill Road, Otaki 06 364 6941
Angela Ford BVM&S MRCVS MACVSc Emma & Jen — Veterinary nurses
Mobile Vet service — we come to you 24 Hrs advice and emergency service — Ring 364 6941 Microchips scanned at no cost and replaced for free if required