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Four summertime pet travel tips

By MWI Animal Health

Help owners prepare their furry friends for seasonal adventures
Dog in car carrier in back seat of car

This summer, pet owners are planning excisions with their furry companions. As a companion veterinary practice, it's important to educate your clients on summertime pet travel tips. By sharing advice on four key topics—travel safety, heat illnesses, boarding, and missing pets—you can strengthen your relationship with clients and ensure their pets safe this summer.


1. Anxiety in new places when traveling

Road trips are an American summer tradition, and clients may want to bring their cat or dog along. Veterinary practices can offer advice on how keep pets secure and safe in the car, such as using the proper restraints. When traveling by plane, pet owners will need to check with the specific airline for guidelines.

Whether traveling by road or air, pet owners will need pet health travel certificates, typically dated with 10 days of departure, if they are bringing pets across state lines. As their veterinarian, you complete this form, so be sure pet owners are aware of this necessary pet travel tip.

While exciting, new places can also be scary for pets. Share messaging with owners around how to help pets adjust to new environments. Using calming supplements or pheromone sprays, providing familiar items from home, and gradually introducing them to the new surroundings, are ways to make summer travel easier on pets. If warranted, you can prescribe anti-anxiety medications to make the stress of travel a little lighter.

2. Heat-related illnesses

Whether pets are relaxing in their own backyard or headed to warmer climates with their owners, heat-related illnesses are a cause of concern every summer. Clients trust you, as their veterinarian, for information on their pets’ well-being. Your practice can educate pet owners on the signs of overheating— excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, and mild weakness—so they know when their pet might be on danger.

Consider using your client communications platform to send out targeted emails. For example, certain breeds are more prone to heat stroke, so you can tailor your messages with this crucial information.

Another live-saving hot weather reminder is not never leave pets in a hot car. Create communications around this to share with pet owners, reminding them it can be up to 20 degrees hotter inside their car than it is outside.

Other useful tidbits to share include summer grooming tips and how to protect pets from sunburn. If you sell pet sunscreen and other summer weather helpers in your online store, be sure to share that information with clients.

3. Boarding when owners are on vacation

Pet owners may decide to take a trip without their animals. If there are no friends or family nearby to take care of them, they will need safe place to board. Veterinary practices can offer information on local boarding facilities and help pet owners select the right one based on their pet's needs. Of course, if your companion veterinary practice offers boarding services, communicate that to clients. Mention it during a visit, post a “did you know” on social media. or send an announcement email.

Share advice on how to prepare pets for the boarding experience, especially if it’s their first time away from their owners. A gradual acclimation is ideal; perhaps an off-site boarding facility has a “doggy day care” option where pups can test out the environment. 

With boarding (or even day care), pets need to be up-to-date on vaccines. This calculator from AAHA gives guidelines based on lifestyle and environment. Email marketing sponsored by the vaccine brands you trust can be an effective way to remind clients their pets are due for their next dose. You can communicate the importance of vaccine compliance without incurring any extra cost for your practice.

4. Resources for lost pets

No one wants to consider their pet may get lost; but it’s best to be prepared, especially if pets will be in unfamiliar environments this summer. Microchipping is a safe and effective way to give pet owners peace of mind if their pet wanders off. Veterinary practices can encourage pet owners to microchip their pets and keep their contact information up to date.

August 15 is National Check the Chip Day. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association paired up to create this annual event to remind pet owners to check registration details ion their pet’s microchip. Both organizations have created marketing materials for veterinarians, like you, to distribute at your practice.

You can also provide information on local lost pet resources, such as animal shelters and online databases.  Additionally, you can educate pet owners on how to prevent their pets from getting lost, such as keeping them on a leash or in a secure yard.

As a companion veterinary practice, your clients trust you for pet travel tips. Proactive communication about summertime safety will solidify your relationship and keep their pets happy and healthy in the hot weather.

Prep pets for travel

Automatically send scheduled, targeted emails to your existing client base to grow vaccine compliance