How to Find Good Veterinary Care When Traveling With Pets

How to Find Good Veterinary Care When Traveling With Pets

This content is sponsored by MOAA Insurance Plans, administered by Mercer Consumer.


Eye irritations … cuts and bleeding … vomiting and diarrhea … taking care of urgent pet health needs is straightforward when you’re at home. But what do you do when you’re traveling? You may need to find a reputable veterinarian, whether you’re 50 miles from home or 500.


Bringing your pet with you when you travel enriches your trip in so many ways. You’re open to visiting new places. It may be less expensive to bring a pet along, and it eases worry. Your dog or cat is with you, and not in a boarding facility or home with a sitter.


However, traveling with a pet requires extra preparations, especially for health care.


Start at Your Regular Vet Clinic

Make sure all vaccinations are up to date, prescriptions are filled, and microchip or identification registries are current. You’ll also want to carry with you documentation of rabies vaccination and a current health certificate.


Keep an extra copy of these documents in your phone. And be sure you have your veterinary clinic’s regular and after hours contact information.


Know What’s Urgent and What’s an Emergency

When you have a health issue away from home with your pet, you need to know what’s urgent, what’s an emergency — and what might be able to wait until you get home.


Emergencies include difficulty breathing, seizures, acute vomiting or loose stools and can be life-threatening. Likewise, don’t wait if your pet eats toxic substances like chocolate or rodenticides or suffers traumatic injuries from a bite or car accident. Find help fast.


Urgent care — where your pet needs to see a vet in the next few hours — includes issues like urinary tract infections, skin irritations or headshaking. If you can, call your regular veterinarian and ask for a referral near you.


Finding Care Away from Home

Emergency pet hospitals are located in most major cities. A phone search on “emergency pet hospital near me” will bring up local emergency hospitals, hours and typically reviews. You’ll see at a glance which may be your best options. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) also features a hospital locator for accredited AAHA hospitals.


If you’re unsure what to do, call your regular vet clinic (use the after-hours number if necessary) and ask specifics. Your own veterinarian knows your pet best. He or she will also likely have referral options near you that you can visit if needed.


When you’re traveling with your pet, accidents and illnesses can happen at any time. Many owners secure pet insurance to help with unexpected costs. MOAA members have access to Pets Best pet insurance for their dog or cat, which can be used at ALL licensed vets in the U.S., including specialty and emergency clinics.


All Pets Best pet insurance customers also get free unlimited access to the 24/7 Pet Helpline. Call, email or chat online with a veterinary expert any time of day or night, from anywhere your travels take you. The 24/7 Pet Helpline can help in situations mentioned above, when you aren’t sure if you need to rush your dog or cat to the veterinarian or not.


For more information and to see members-only pricing, visit the Pets Best MOAA portal page or phone 1-877-934-9423 (be sure to mention referral code “MOAA”).


Pet Insurance coverage offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC and underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company, a New York insurance company headquartered at 6100 4th Ave. S. Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98108. Please see to review all available pet health insurance products underwritten by APIC.


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