Skip to main content

Our Community Focus

Traveling with your Pet

Dec 05, 2018 08:41PM ● By Louisa Asseo

Dr. Louisa Asseo, owner of Oasis Veterinary Hospital, 6635 Alhambra Ave, Suite 100, 925.954.8087

Traveling with your Pet

Reducing your pet’s stress is key

By Dr. Louisa Asseo, Oasis Veterinary Hospital


This year seemed to fly by! The holidays are upon us again! If you are planning on travelling with your pet this season, here are some things to consider.

If your pet will be flying with you, plan ahead.  Most airlines require a health certificate that states your pet is healthy for travel and properly vaccinated for the safety of the people caring for them. Every airline has their own policies about health certificates.  Some airlines do not require them.  For those that do, each airline has their own timeframe for when you need to get this certificate, so contact your airline early to find out the requirements. Health certificates are legal documents provided to you by a USDA-accredited veterinarian.  Ask your vet if he or she is able to provide this document, and then make a wellness appointment for a complete physical exam within the timeframe designated by your airline. 

Some airlines also require an acclimation certificate. This certificate is used to allow airlines to transport dogs and cats in the cargo hold even when the airline cannot guarantee that temperatures will remain within a safe zone. During the winter months, animals in cargo areas can be subjected to freezing temperatures for prolonged periods of time.   It is then up to your veterinarian to provide a very detailed and specific allowable temperature zone.  This requires the airline to follow safe guidelines for your pet.  

Travel can cause anxiety and stress for your pet.  Despite this, sedation is generally not recommended.  Many sedatives can increase the chances of experiencing heart or respiratory problems.  On occasion, a sedative can have an opposite effect, causing your pet to feel out of control and heighten his or her anxiety.  Sometimes they can work too well and excessively sedate your pet. Instead,  begin to get your pet used to the crate he or she will be travelling in.  Keep the crate out in your house.  Place comfortable bedding and treats in the crate to encourage them to go in of their own accord.  If your pet is acclimated to the crate, he or she will consider the crate a safe place. This will naturally lessen his or her stress while travelling.

Wherever your holiday plans take you this year, travel safely.  Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season from all of your friends at Oasis Veterinary Hospital.