VCA Woodland Central Animal Hospital
Published: Dec 17, 2012

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As the holidays draw closer, many families are getting set to hit the road to celebrate with loved ones. Pet owners often bring their dogs or cats along for the ride, but taking a pet on a plane or in an automobile takes a bit of planning. Here are some tips to remember as you arrange your trip with your animal companion.

Travel by car
Many canines love traveling by car, but cats - and some dogs too - can be a bit pickier about rides in an automobile. Crate training your pet can make a journey on the road more comfortable, as some animals find it comforting to be in a familiar, confined space when in the car.

Both cats and dogs can be prone to motion sickness, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. It's important to know the signs of car sickness - your pet may seem restless or salivate heavily, and dog or cat vomiting is not uncommon. If you are worried that your pet suffers from extreme motion sickness, then it is probably best to bring him to the vet to ask about prescription medicine that can help ease these symptoms.

If you're going on a long journey, remember to plan in time to stop and give your pet a rest. Your animal companion will need time to get out and stretch his legs and relieve himself. Also, it's important to remember that your pet should never be left alone in the car under any circumstances.

Travel by air
Airplane travel with your dog or cat should be preceded by a visit to the vet to make sure your animal companion is in good shape. After that, you'll need to get in touch with the airline you plan to fly with to make sure you have a good grasp on their regulations regarding the safety of your pet. When buying your plane ticket, it's best to purchase a direct flight to avoid any layovers. It may be easier to book a direct itinerary during the weekdays.

Your pet will most likely need a carrier of some sort. If you don't have one yet, you can ask your vet for advice. Look for a carrier that is large enough to comfortably hold your pet, but not so big that he'll be tossed about when transported. Make sure the container is ventilated and comes equipped with a water tray to keep your pet hydrated while in transit.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.