Magda Szajcz, a Saanich veterinarian, brings Salmon, her parti coloured poodle, to work with her every day. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich 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

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Saanich starts reserve fund to enhance municipality’s urban forest

Funds will go to planting more trees support urban canopy growth, outreach

Homes fit for royals for sale in North Saanich

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have returned to Greater Victoria

Gold Rush star dons Lucky Lager shirt in latest episode

Brennan Ruault, originally from Invermere, joined the show in the sixth season

VIDEO: Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Activists want Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs demands to be upheld, observed and respected

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan Tribes death

Police are looking at foul play in relation to a death on… Continue reading

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Most Read