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What You Should Know Before Traveling with Your Pet

One of the many perks of working locum tenens is the freedom to travel. However, for some pet parents, a trip just isn’t the same without their furry friend by their side. Before you decide to take along your pet to your next locums assignment, read these travel tips, below.

Travel by Plane

  • Take your pet to see their veterinarian to verify that they are up-to-date on their vaccinations, free of fleas and ticks, and in good health. You can also discuss ways to relax your pet prior to takeoff if you are worried they may become afraid or anxious during the flight.
  • Make sure you have a USDA-approved shipping crate that is large enough for your pet to stand, sit, and turn around in. Line it with some type of bedding to make sure your pet is comfortable and to absorb any accidents.
  • If your pet is small enough, they may be able to ride in the cabin along with you, however, they will have to go through a security screening process.
  • Properly identify your pet’s crate with your name, contact information, and a photo of your pet.
  • Leave a frozen dish of water inside your pet’s crate. The frozen water dish will avoid spills while loading, but will be thawed in time for your pet to drink.
  • Exact travel policies can vary by airline so make sure to check beforehand. Here are some policies for the most popular airlines booked for Interim Physicians locum tenens physicians: American Airlines, Delta, and Alaska Airlines.
  • For a full list of airlines and their pet policies, visit Pet Friendly Travel.

On the Road

  • Prep your dog for a long road trip by taking them on short drives first.
  • If you’re crossing state lines, you’ll need to have your pet’s rabies vaccination record on hand.
  • As much as you may want to travel with your furry friend in your lap, this is not the safest place for them. Keep your pet safe inside of a well-ventilated crate that is attached to a seat buckle in the back seat.
  • Bring a pet friendly kit that contains food, water bowl and bottled water, leash, waste bags, and any medications. You may also want to pack a favorite toy or blanket to give them a reminder of home.
  • As always, to avoid heatstroke or extreme cold, never leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle.
  • Make frequent stops for bathroom and exercise breaks. This will help prevent any accidents and help keep your pet calm. Always provide water during these breaks to avoid dehydration.

Hotel Etiquette

  • Rooms on the ground floor make for easy exit and bathroom breaks. Some hotels even have a designated potty-spot for pets. Ask upon check-in.
  • If traveling with a litter box, keep it in the bathroom for easier clean up.
  • Keep your pet on flea and tick medicine well before arriving at the hotel. You don’t want your pet to pick up any pests while traveling or leave any behind for the next traveling pet.
  • Even the best-trained pets can have accidents when they are in a new surrounding or stressful situation. Always make sure to bring along cleaning supplies to clean up after your pet. A small bottle of Nature’s Miracle pet stain and odor remover can be a lifesaver and help you avoid excess cleaning charges billed to your personal credit card.
  • Always keep your pet on a leash and avoid dining areas.
  • Pet polices can vary by hotel, so make sure to read up on your hotel’s policy prior to your assignment. Here are the pet polices for some of the most popular hotel chains in which Interim Physicians places our physicians: Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, and Courtyard Marriott.
  • To search for pet-friendly hotels in your area, visit

For more travel tips, visit the ASPCA and Trips With Pets.

Travel reward programs can offer some great benefits, get more information here.