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What to Do if Your Pet Gets Sick or Injured While Traveling

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Getting sick or injured at home is one thing. If it happens while traveling and far from home, sickness and injuries can become a much more complicated ordeal. 

If you’re planning a pet-friendly vacation, it’s important to be prepared for emergencies. The last thing you want is to waste precious time scrambling to find a vet and a plan if your pup gets sick or hurt while you’re on the road. 

Keep reading for some expert tips on what to do if your pet gets sick or injured while traveling. 

Be Prepared

Any successful vacation is preceded by lots of planning and research. While you’re planning out the fun adventures, don’t forget to prepare for some of those less-than-ideal scenarios, too. 

In addition to packing the essentials for your dog—including medical records and a pet first aid kit—you’ll also want to do plenty of research and assess the risks of the area you’re planning to visit. 

For example:

You’ll also want to research vets in the area, including emergency clinics that are open 24/7. For added convenience, keep their phone numbers and addresses easily accessible. 

You may even want to consider studying some basic pet first aid or even enrolling in a course. Extra knowledge and peace of mind certainly don’t hurt! 

Signs That Something is Wrong

While you live your day-to-day life with your dog, you inevitably become familiar with his health and behavior. The more in tune you are with Fido’s appearance and behavior, the more likely you are to notice that something is off—and it’s always good to notice sooner rather than later.  

Common signs of a sick or injured dog include: 

  • Digestive issues, including vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation
  • Limping 
  • Appetite loss
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive thirst
  • Self-isolating 
  • Acting more irritable or even aggressive
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Compulsively licking or tending to a certain area
  • Avoiding physical contact 
  • Visible signs such as open wounds, rashes, and swelling 

Signs of a possible medical emergency include: 

  • Blue or pale gums
  • Labored breathing
  • Trouble walking
  • Sudden, extreme changes in mental state

You know your dog best. If you notice any unexplained changes in his appearance or behavior, it’s always worth seeking the advice of a medical professional to rule out something serious. 

poodle sitting in a green hammock, wearing sunglasses

Keeping Your Dog Healthy on Vacation

Vacations are a great time for getting a break from our mundane routines and seeking some new adventures. That said, it’s important to remember that our dogs are creatures of habit. As much as your pooch loves trying fun activities with you, he also loves his familiar, predictable routines

When traveling with your dog this summer, be mindful of his stress and anxiety levels. Offer frequent breaks for rest and water, and keep your dog’s diet as consistent as possible. 

It’s also a good idea to conduct occasional “home health checks,” even while you’re away from home.

What to Do if Your Dog Gets Sick or Hurt

If you notice that something seems off about your dog, or there’s a more obvious indicator that your pup could use some medical assistance, the first step is to figure out the severity of the issue. 

Through pictures and video calls, a virtual vet can help you determine whether an in-person appointment is necessary. They can also give you instructions on how to address your dog’s ailment yourself, as long as it’s a relatively minor issue. If it’s an emergency, always opt for an in-person appointment over a phone or video call. 

Travel can be stressful for some pets—not to mention the motion sickness that can accompany car travel. 

Make car rides, vet visits, and new experiences less stressful for your dog with Pet Honesty’s Calming Hemp Chews. These tasty soft chews are made with a blend of natural ingredients for a gentle, non-sedating way to soothe your stressed-out dog and even ease motion sickness.