Merck Manual

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Introduction to Travel with Pets

By

Manuals Staff

Last full review/revision Apr 2020 | Content last modified Apr 2020
Topic Resources

Daily Health Check

Regardless of the destination, you should perform a daily health check on your pet when away from home. In unfamiliar surroundings, the pet’s appetite, energy level, and disposition may change. Signs of possible illness include any unusual discharges from the nose and eyes, excessive scratching or biting of any body part, abnormal urination or defecation, lack of appetite for longer than 24 hours, disorientation, or excessive water consumption. Your pet should be checked by a local veterinarian if you become concerned about any physical or behavioral changes or if you note anything out of the ordinary.

This resource provides basic information on traveling with your pet, both within the United States and internationally. While the focus is on the United States as the “home country,” many of the principles and suggestions are applicable to travel within or between other countries. Some of the issues facing owners who want or need to travel with their pets will also be addressed. Where complete discussion of a particular issue is not possible, places to obtain additional information are suggested. Alternatives to traveling with your pet are also discussed, because sometimes it is not possible or in your pet’s best interest to bring it with you on your travels.

Cats and dogs are the most common pets to be taken along on trips. Most other pet animals are not routinely taken along on travels, so we have not included other specifics here. Also consider Alternatives to Travel with Pets.

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