SOURCE: New Hope Animal Hospital

December 14, 2011 10:00 ET

Durham Veterinarians Offer Holiday Pet Travel Tips

DURHAM, NC--(Marketwire - Dec 14, 2011) - Dr. Soren Windram and Dr. Kay Bishop from New Hope Animal Hospital are offering veterinary tips for safe pet travel during the holiday season. Because their animal clinic is located close to the University of North Carolina and Duke University, they know that many students, faculty and administrators will soon be traveling by car and plane to various parts of the country with pets in tow. Some pet owners from the Chapel Hill area have previously arrived at the airport ready to travel only to be surprised and unprepared for the restrictions that go along with taking a pet on an airplane. The Durham veterinarians hope to eliminate stress for both pets and pet owners by offering a few tips in advance.

Most airlines will only allow two pets per flight; each pet must be at least eight weeks old and in good health. Pet owners will need to present proof of a rabies immunization and a valid health certificate which has been issued by a licensed veterinarian within thirty days prior to the date of travel. Airlines can refuse to transport a pet for an improper carrier that does not allow sufficient room or proper ventilation. The pet must be offered food and water within four hours before check-in, and it's also a good idea to exercise the pet before leaving for the airport.

Dr. Windram and Dr. Bishop advise pet owners to schedule an appointment at a veterinary clinic to receive a health certificate, review the pet carrier, discuss the effects of tranquilizers, and determine any potential health hazards. They also advise pet owners to contact the airline several weeks before the planned travel to ensure pet owners are aware of all pet travel requirements.

Commenting on travel with animals Dr. Windram said, "As a veterinarian, I'm strongly concerned about the effects of air travel on pets. I recommend that pet owners plan ahead to reserve boarding locally or boarding at the end destination, and to preserve the health of their pet during the trip."

When traveling by car from Chapel Hill, the doctors advise providing a comfortable environment, proper nutrition and plenty of rest stops. Staying at a different location or hectic holiday celebrations may also be stressful to the pet, so the doctors recommend taking along familiar toys or bedding and setting aside a secluded sleep environment at the new location. Dr. Bishop commented, "We think the holidays are tough on people, but they can be just as unsettling for our pets. All pet owners should talk to a veterinarian before taking their pets on a trip to reduce stress, eliminate surprises, and minimize the possibility of sickness."

Those not taking their pets on a trip may decide to take advantage of their Durham dog boarding and cat boarding services where pets receive proper nutrition, exercise and comfortable sleep quarters in a supervised and controlled veterinary environment. New Hope Animal Hospital treats pets in the Durham and Chapel Hill communities. Further information on the clinic or pet travel may be obtained by visiting the website at

Contact Information

  • New Hope Animal Hospital
    Durham, NC