Travelling with pets

Holidays are always a great chance to get away and have a break!

Here at Latrobe Veterinary Group we have complied a list of things to consider for your pet/s prior to heading away on holiday, to ensure you trip goes as smoothly as possible.

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If you’re not taking you pets with you there are a few things to consider:

-Who is going to look after the animals when you’re away?

-Are they going into a kennels? Having a pet sitter? Is someone coming to look after them in your own home?

-How long in advance do you need to book to secure a spot for your animal?

-Are they fully up to date on vaccinations?

– Does your pet stress during travel? (Sprays such as Feliway and Adaptil can hugely benefit your pet in helping them stay calm during their travels!)

Worms and flea

It is best to make sure your pet is up to date with all gastro-intestinal worming (generally due every 3months) and flea prevention (generally a monthly treatment), particularly prior to travelling or boarding. These nasty parasites are easily picked up when pets are travelling and if they are playing with other animals whilst holidaying.


Whilst heartworm is mostly found up north in the warmer states the area where heartworm infected animals have been found is forever growing.

 It is always a good idea to research the area you are travelling to and discuss with a veterinarian or veterinary nurse whether your pet should be on a heartworm prevention treatment. There are a few options available including monthly preventatives and a yearly injection.

It may also be helpful to call a veterinary clinic in the area you are travelling to, in order to find out whether they highly recommend heartworm prevention.


As with heartworm it is always a good idea to research the area being travelled to in regards to the tick population.  An important question that needs to be asked is:

What ticks species are present in the area?  Products for tick prevention vary in what species they cover. The most harmful tick species is the paralysis tick and is commonly found along the east coast of Australia starting around Sale, Victoria. One bite from a paralysis tick can be fatal if your pet is not attended to by a veterinarian as soon as possible.  

It is also recommended that, along with preventative check treatment, you should also daily head-to-tail-checks for ticks on the pet, focusing on ears, feet, and under tail.

If you find a tick on your animal don’t hesitate to contact your closest vet.


It’s always best to ensure your pet is up to date before heading on holidays, regardless of whether they are going with you or not as kennels and pet sitters will not allow your pet to board with themwithout an up to date vaccination record.

If your pet is travelling with you it is highly recommended to have them up to date with all vaccinations as these diseases can be picked up from other animals and the environment.

It is also a good idea to bring your current vaccination card/record with you.

Remember that if your animal has not been vaccinated before or is overdue, it can take up to 6 weeks to complete the vaccination course. 

Medications/Medical History

-If your pet is on any medications, ensure you have enough for the whole time you’re away.

-It’s best to ensure any medications are stored in an esky as most are required to be kept below 25C to remain effective.

-If your pet has any medical conditions, keep a copy of your pets’ history just in case you need to take them to a closer vet whilst you’re away.


Remember to check any ID tags currently on your pet and make sure the details are still up to date/ relevant.

It is also best to find out which company that your pet is microchipped with and ensure all of your emergency contact details are up to date.

Water safety

It’s hard to believe but not all dogs are good swimmers! Ensure your dog can swim well before taking them near water and/or on boats.

Different body types/shapes, and even old age can affect a dogs swimming ability.

Doggy life jackets are available and can be lifesaving: they are just as important as human life jackets.

Toilet breaks

It’s important whilst on long car trips to have frequent toilet breaks for your pet, and of course chance to also stretch their legs!

It is important to have breaks for cats too! If you are travelling with cats ensure that they are in a cage that allows them to stand and stretch and make sure to still have regular stops so they can use a litter tray without the motion of the car.

Always phone your vet if you have any queries or enquiries about the above suggestions!

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Buzz sank the first time he tried to swim, that’s when his mum bought him a doggy life jacket

Happy Holidays!