Preparing for travel

To add to the other travel blog I did, I want to talk about how I prepare my pets when we leave to travel. If we are not flying my dog Lyla always goes with us, no matter where we are going. If we are flying she either stays with a friend or at Creekside Pet Retreat. My cat Wilson, however, stays home when we leave.

Lyla has her own suitcase to travel with all of her needs when we go. She also has a smaller travel crate that I take with us to use at our destination and any hotels we may stay in on the way. She has a travel car seat that she rides in anytime she is in the car; it has a safety harness that attaches to her harness to keep her secured. It is important to use a harness to secure a pet in the car to ensure he/she does not hurt their neck. There are also adapters that can be placed on the seatbelt to secure the pet as well. I pack enough food for the number of days we are going and usually take a little extra, just in case anything happens. I take her dental wipes, her Dasuquin, Aller G-3 (fish oils), and her Solliquin. If she will be due for her heartworm prevention or flea control while we are gone I take those as well. If she is staying with someone or going to the kennel I pack the same things along with instructions. I also like to send toys and her bed or blanket (or I take them with us) and her travel food/water containers. I also take her ID and rabies tags, harness, leash, and vaccines history with us (just in case). I also pack her some clothes (jackets, lifevest, rain coat, etc.) depending on where we are traveling.

Wilson stays at our house while we are gone. He has 2 litter boxes and an automatic feeder. We also leave several water bowls around the house. The automatic feeder is placed so that he cannot knock it over and it is filled and set a day before we leave to test that it is working. Wilson has a cat tree and toys left out for him to play with and I also open blinds that he can see out of (I pull the blinds up so that he cannot get stuck on the cord). We secure or put away anything that he may get into or could be dangerous to him. We will have someone come check on him, depending on how long we will be away.

There are several kennels around Charleston that can accommodate your pet if he/she cannot stay home or no one can watch him. Creekside is the one most clients use and that I use, but there is also Moonshadow and Dog Tired on Johns Island. There are also services to find a pet sitter such as and If you need help finding accommodations for your pet please call us at Angel Oak Animal Hospital. It is also important to ensure your pet is up to date on vaccines before travel. It is necessary to have updated rabies to cross state line (if driving). If your pet is boarding he needs bordetella (kennel cough), lepto, rabies, and distemper/parvo for a dog; and rabies and FVRCP for a cat. If flying check with the specific airline for their individual requirements and also those of your destination.


-Acacia Squires (technician)


Photo is of my dog Lyla ready to travel in her carseat.