Baton Rouge Veterinarian Warns Pet Owners to Plan Ahead for Vacations

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, UNITED STATES

BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Frederic Michaelson, a Baton Rouge veterinarian of Jefferson Animal Hospital, warns pet owners to take preparatory steps if they plan to take their pets on vacation. He urges people to honestly assess their pets' travel readiness, and to remember that pet boarding may be the safest, most enjoyable option for their pets. Dr. Michaelson advises pet owners to make an appointment at the animal clinic for a health assessment before planning a vacation with their pets, particularly if they will be traveling by air.

Dr. Michaelson explains that preparation is critical. "Come to the animal clinic first. Pets must be current on their vaccinations, flea and tick preventatives and prescriptions. We also provide health certificates required by airlines and foreign destinations. Call the airlines, your hotels and other destinations ahead of time to ask about pet requirements and fees. Research the locations of pet hospitals at your destination so you know what to do and where to go if you have an animal emergency. I recommend Baton Rouge pet microchip insertion, which is critical if your pet gets lost. And make sure your pet has a strong leash and collar with up-to-date ID tags."

Whether traveling by car or plane, Dr. Haase, a veterinarian at the hospital, recommends investing in a travel-sturdy pet crate. Dr. Haase says travel crates keep pets safe and provide a comforting place for them in new places. Crates should be large enough for pets to stand, lie down and turn around comfortably in. External rims or knobs should prevent ventilation holes on either side from being blocked. He recommends lining the crate bottom with 3 layers of "Chux" (blue-backed absorbent pads hospitals use). The exterior should have "Live Animal" labels, arrows indicating which way is up, and the owner's contact information in indelible ink. The crate must have a comfortable travel mat, a couple of the pet's favorite toys and a travel-safe water bottle.

Dr. Michaelson says pet owners also need to think about food, water and other ways to keep their pets healthy on vacation. Pets can suffer stomach problems if their food is switched abruptly, so people should prepare to pack a complete supply of their pet's regular food. He also suggests using bottled water if the water quality on vacation is uncertain. Keeping to the pet's regular sleep and exercise schedule also helps pets feel more secure on vacation, he explains.

Dr. Michaelson explains, "It may be cheaper and easier to simply let your pet stay with us in our boarding facility. But if you decide to take your pet, make sure to prepare!"

Jefferson Animal Hospital provides pet wellness and pet urgent care services. The animal clinic also provides boarding, microchipping and pet acupuncture.


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