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Small Animal (Dog, Cat)

Here comes summer!

By April 30, 2024 No Comments

By Kevin Erickson, DVM

As temperatures rise and daylight hours increase, it’s only natural to start thinking about summer trips and adventures. And who better to share road trips, hikes and/or other warm-weather undertakings with than your four-legged companion. Most dogs love a good car ride and the fun that follows, and a little planning can help avoid making our office your final destination.

Pre-planning is critical to making any outing with your pet successful. Whether a routine visit to the local dog park or a cross country trek, it’s important to make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are current, and your pet is properly identified.

Accessing your pet’s vaccination records is easily done via Kulshan’s PetPage app or by calling our office. The app shows when your pet is due for rabies vaccination, but we still recommend that you carry a current, signed Rabies vaccinations certificate. This certificate is required to cross into Canada with your pet.

Proper identification is also important when traveling. Even a local trip can end in disaster if a pet gets spooked and runs away in an unfamiliar location. Without identification or a way to contact owners, pets often end up at a local shelter and their story may not have a fairy tale ending. Collars and name tags with your contact information are a great place to start but can be lost. It’s also important to check them regularly to make sure your contact information is legible and correct.

Implanting a microchip is a terrific way to provide your pet with a permanent form of identification and increases the chances of him/her being returned to you safely. It’s also critical to register your pet’s microchip and to keep your contact information current.

When traveling beyond Washington’s borders, we recommend contacting our office about travel requirements and other recommendations for keeping your pet healthy. Most airlines require your pet to have a health certificate prior to flying and many foreign countries and even some states require specific health certificates and/or treatments be completed before allowing your pet entrance. Best to check well in advance as some of these requirements can take several months to complete.

We also want to keep your pet healthy while it travels. Washington residents are lucky in that many diseases are less common here than in other parts of the United States and other parts of the world. Heartworm is one of the most critical diseases for us to discuss. While it’s best to have your pet on regular heartworm prevention year-round even if it never leaves the state, it’s imperative that pets traveling outside Washington be on heartworm prevention at least while traveling outside the state and for three consecutive months after returning.

Lyme disease, fungal infections, parasites, canine influenza, and snake bites are other things that must be considered depending on where your travels take you. The team at Kulshan is ready to help make your trip more pleasurable by avoiding these conditions.

Another important part of pre-planning is your packing checklist. For the local trip, it may be as simple as a leash, poop bags and your dog’s favorite toys. For a longer trip, don’t forget to add:

1. An extra leash/harness,

2. A crate if appropriate – pets like safe, familiar spaces when traveling,

3. Bedding – again familiarity goes a long way,

4. Food and water – some pets are very picky and may not drink water that tastes different than the water at home. A bland diet can also be a plus as traveling can lead to stress diarrhea,

5. A sufficient supply of any medications your pet is taking,

6. Extra toys to help distract them on longer trips,

7. A first aid kit.

Finally, secure pet-friendly accommodations for your travels. With more and more families traveling with pets this is becoming much easier than it was in the past, but there are still some hotels that do not cater to four-legged guests. Avoid the hassle of having to find different lodging by confirming that they’ll be welcome before you arrive.

Enjoying the summer and spending time with our pets goes hand in hand. A little bit of pre-planning goes a long way in allowing you to focus on fun in the sun versus challenges in the cabana. Please let us know how we can help you with the pre-planning of your summer escape and don’t forget to share pictures or your trip with us so we can enjoy your fun as well.

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