Keep in Mind

Here are some things worth remembering no matter how you travel:

  • Make sure you try the medication on your animal before you hit the road. Finding a vet or comforting a sick pet may be near-impossible in the moment your animal needs attention.
  • To make medicating easier, invest in some treats that hide pills.
  • Bring a health history and list of meds on vacation with you in case your pet does need an emergency vet visit.
  • Always follow dosing instructions and maintain the recommended temperature for your pet's medication.
  • Remind your vet of any other medications your pet takes to ensure there will be no negative drug interaction.

Pet Sedatives

­Sedatives work by putting the brain to sleep [source: Brown]. This type of medication, which includes anesthetics, is used to calm an animal or make it sleep for short periods of time (or sometimes permanently). Sedatives are used for everything from nail trimming to travel, but you should take caution when choosing one for your pet.

Testing has shown that an animal's respiration, heart rate and temperature all drop under sedation. Animals also become dehydrated [source: Amarpal], James Cargo]. This could have serious consequences: If your pet gets stuck in a hot cargo hold - or even under your seat -- without water, its health could be in jeopardy. Should your pet wake up confused and alone once the sedative wears off, the resulting panic and grogginess could be just as bad as the stress you'd hoped to avoid.

All told, traveling with your pet shouldn't be any different than traveling alone or with other family members. If you plan ahead and take necessary precautions, you should be able to share an enjoyable trip with your four-legged friend.

For more information, see the links on the next page.