Magda Szajcz, a Saanich veterinarian, brings Salmon, her parti coloured poodle, to work with her every day. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Magda Szajcz, a Saanich veterinarian, brings Salmon, her parti coloured poodle, to work with her every day. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

B.C. vet talks tips for winter travel with pets

Going to see the vet the day before a trip is never a good idea

Whether it’s a plane ride or a road trip, for many, the holidays involve some traveling and sometimes that means taking pets along for the adventure.

Magda Szajcz, a veterinarian at the Cadboro Bay Vet Clinic, recommends people plan for a pet’s trip the way they plan for their own. She suggests making a checklist well in advance.

Depending on the travel destination, pets may need vaccines, medications or a health certificate, Szajcz explained. When crossing international borders, pets need a vet check-up to ensure they meet the country’s requirements – each country’s requirements are unique and change frequently.

READ ALSO: The pool is going to the dogs at West Shore Parks and Recreation

Szajcz encourages pet owners to contact their vet to ask questions and find out about the potential health risks in their vacation destination – heartworm and ticks are just some of the risks to prepare for. She noted that as with humans, going to a medical professional the day before a trip is a bad idea. Some health checks and vaccines need to be planned several weeks in advance and pets’ prescriptions should also be filled with lead time.

For winter travel, Szajcz emphasized the importance of keeping pets warm, hydrated and comfortable. She recommends bringing a supply of the pet’s favourite food so their diet doesn’t have to change adding more stress. She also pointed out that asking if the travel destination is pet-friendly – even if it’s someone’s home – is important.

Pets should also be in travel crates rather than on laps while on car trips so that they’re safe in case of a crash, Szajcz noted. Practice time with crates before the trip can help the pet adjust. Pet seat belts and barricades are also available for car travel.

READ ALSO: Saanich council scratches cat control bylaws

When traveling by plane or train, Szajcz said it’s important to call the company to ask about pet regulations and talk to a vet about medications to reduce your pet’s stress during the trip.

Depending on the individual pet, boarding them or getting a house sitter may be a better option than travel to avoid stress, Szajcz said. Her own poodle, Salmon, isn’t a fan of travel.

Ask a vet what it may look like when your pet is stressed and work to read their cues, Szajcz suggested. Not eating, changes in activity, clinginess and constant searching are all signs that pets aren’t comfortable.

Szajcz emphasized that with kennels, there are often still vaccines and health certificates required.

As each pet is unique, Szajcz hopes people contact their vet for specific travel tips. Disease maps and travel tips are available online and doing research can help pet owners know what questions to ask.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From now to November, WildsafeBC will be educating the public through its various programs in the community of Bella Coola. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bears are back, and so is WildSafeBC

Rae will be working hard to reach out to community members in new and innovative ways

Bella Coola’s new WildSafeBC co-ordinator, Rae Kokeš, has spent the last 10 years in Africa working in lion, human, conflict, and is a wildlife biologist by trade. (Photo submitted)
From the savannas of Africa to the Bella Coola Valley

New Wildsafe BC coordinator ready to tackle wildlife conflict

Bella Coola Valley Ridge Riders Horse Club board member Annika Granander watches, and participates in the gymkhana Sunday (Photo submitted)
Sunshine and smiles all around Bella Coola Ridge Riders Horse Club gymkhana

The event was the first of the year, with COVID-19 safety precautions in place

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

A build up of lint in a clothes dryer is believed to have caused a house fire in Alexis Creek Sunday evening, April 4, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Clothing dryer suspected cause of Alexis Creek home fire, owner wants to warn others

Neil Miller is thankful he still has his horses, community support and his life

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Most Read