If you’ll be traveling with your dog — either locally (out & about running errands) or far away (via an airplane ride or long car ride) — then you need to take a few precautions.
If you don’t, then your dog could become separated from you and you’ll be up a creek trying to scamper and locate him.
These things are simple, and they should be done now so you’ll always be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Some of these things could be stored in a number of different places, including (but not limited to) your glove compartment, day planner, suitcase, doggie backpack, your portable computer, or even programmed into your cellphone.
#1 Make sure your pet’s ID tag lists your current address and phone number at all times. If you move, get a new phone number, or lose (or break) your dog’s ID tag, the fastest way to get a new one is to visit your local pet store.
TIP: Two of the pet stores in my town (that I know of) make ID tags on the spot. I just got one from Pet Smart the other day. It was $6.99. And you got to pick from several different styles & colors of dog tags. Plus, the engraving space wasn’t as limited as it usually is when you purchase dog tags through the mail or online. I was in and out of there in 5 minutes flat.
#2 When traveling (even locally), you should always have your vet’s phone number handy. You never know. And sometimes you might just have a question. A vet can provide more help than you realize right over the phone! (Especially if you’re a “regular” there.) Just the same, I keep the phone number for our local after-hours pet emergency treatment center handy, too.
TIP: I had my vet’s phone number imprinted on the dog tag itself. That way, I never have to remember it! Besides, if my dog gets lost and I cannot be reached, my vet could always help — and they’re not likely to move!
#3 When traveling long distances or to new places, take along a copy of your dog’s rabies vaccination certificate and/or a copy of their latest health record. (In Canada, this is required.)
TIP: You can usually phone your vet the day before and they’ll fax a copy to your home, your work, or your hotel.
#4 When traveling (locally or long-distance) you have to plan ahead so that your dog is never left alone — either in a hot car or a hotel room.
TIP: You may want to find some local kennels or pet sitting services ahead of time.
#5 Always keep a recent photo of your dog in wallet, your vehicle, or in your suitcase if you’re traveling long distances. This makes it possible to have posters created at the local copy shop or show people your dog’s photo if he should get separated from you.
TIP: Of course, it’s a cinch to keep a photo or two on your cell phone these days! The best part… a copy shop should be able to download it off your phone to make posters in an emergency.
#6 In the event that your dog does get lost, immediately notify all of the local animal shelters, humane societies, and veterinary offices. Those are the places a found animal is likely to be taken by a concerned citizen.
TIP: Be prepared to spend a good deal of time just finding the phone numbers and addresses for each of those places. Try to remain calm, cool, and collected. And show your dog’s photo to anyone you pass along the way.