What to pack in my pet’s suitcase for the perfect vacation

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Finally August is here, the perfect month for vacations!

Vacations are not only for the family, they are also for our pets!

There are several solutions to provide an excellent vacation for your pets, they can stay in the comfort of their own homes and keep to their usual routines with a petsitter, they can go with you or they can stay at a Pet Hotel.

In case your pet doesn’t stay home, what should you pack so that nothing is amiss?

Whether your pet goes with you or stays at a Pet Hotel, some things cannot be forgotten in either situation:

  1. First, you should check that vaccines and antiparasitic treatments are up-to-date.
  2. Some pet hotels will ask for extra measures, such as kennel cough vaccine – make sure you get it at least 2 weeks before going to the hotel so that immunity forms.
  3. Ask your pet’s caretaker if there are any other preventive measures needed. Make sure to book a visit to your vet ahead of time.
  4. If you take your pet with you, ask your Veterinarian if there are any endemic diseases in the location you’re travelling to that may warrant specific prevention (heartworm or leishmaniasis, for example).
  5. Make sure your pet has a microchip and that your contact info on the database is correct, especially your phone number.
  6. Your pets should always take their Health Bulletin (vaccination booklet) with them.

If  you’re leaving your pet at a Pet hotel or with a petsitter:

  1. Leave the number of your regular Veterinarian, in case the caretaker needs to know any relevant medical info.
  2. Take your pet’s usual medication along with info on dosage and timing. Always leave a little extra medication than needed, sometimes pets can spit out the medication or you can decide to stay a few more days away.
  3. Take your pet’s usual food and refer the eating habits (quantity, times per day, special needs). Food changes can cause gastrointestinal upset.
  4. You can also take your pet’s bed and a favorite toy.
  5. If it’s the first time your pet stays at a Pet Hotel, make sure to visit the place in person and take your pets. This way they’ll get to know the space and the people who work there in your presence
  6. You can also leave some used garment of yours so that your smell helps with homesickness!
  7. Use the petable app and share your pet’s profile with the caretaker to share medication reminders and see if medication is being given.

If you’re taking your pet with you:

  1. Bring a canteen to be able to give water during the trip and during the tours;
  2. Don’t forget to bring the usual food, snacks and any medication;
  3. Also, the pet’s bed and a favourite toy;
  4. If your pet a special bowl or drinker, take it with you. If your pet isn’t used to eating with a bowl on the floor, it may cause discomfort and even cause reluctance to eat.
  5. Don’t forget the leash!
  6. Place an identification plate on your pet. Even though they may have a microchip, an identification plate makes contacting you a lot easier if your pets get lost somewhere they don’t know;
  7. Take a mini first aid kit with:
    • Gauze compresses
    • Saline solution
    • Ointment for wounds (prescribed by your Veterinarian)
    • Disinfectant solution (prescribed by your Veterinarian)
  1. Keep the number of a Veterinary Clinic with 24h emergency service located near your holiday destination. You can also use the petable app to find one.

During the journey it is important to:

  1. Only provide a light meal before the trip (to avoid motion sickness), without limiting water; if your pet has a history of motion sickness and the car ride is short, consider giving food only upon arrival;
  2. Travel safely (inside a carrier or with appropriate seat belt gear);
  3. Avoid travelling during the warmest hours of the day;
  4. Keep your car cool with air conditioned or open windows;
  5. Stop every 2 hours to exercise your dog;
  6. NEVER leave your pet alone in the car!! Even with the windows open the temperature inside the car rises quite quickly and could cause a heat stroke.


It bares remembering, that vacation season is always a critical time for pets and as members of the family, proper arrangements should be made for them. Happy vacations everyone!

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