Jiggy Goes to the Lake – Preparing Your Pet for Travel

Reprinted from March 2013

Hi everybody. Dr. Ferrell here on Tales & Tails this week. Hope you all enjoyed the bit of spring weather we got to experience recently. I was lucky enough to spend last weekend at beautiful Table Rock Lake so the sunshine and warmth was especially nice. Jiggy loves to run in the shallow waves and she got to do it without any post-swimming shivering.


My grandparents were smart enough to build a cabin on Table Rock Lake way back in 1990, before most people had ever heard of Branson, Missouri. They also had the foresight to build on the side of the lake away from Branson—we still get to enjoy the peace and quiet even though Branson has evolved into quite the tourist attraction over the years.  Every time my family and I visit, we’re struck by the beauty of the area and grateful we have such a restful getaway available to us. And Jiggy thinks it’s the best place ever! Piles of leaves to dive into, lizards to chase, dancing water to bark at and wade in—the fun never ends for her. Last summer, she was ecstatic to discover deer. When she took off after several of them and was missing for half an hour, she scared her mom to death!


I love watching Jiggy have so much fun but even though I’m on vacation, I’m still a veterinarian no matter where I go.  She dives into the leaves and I think snake bite. She runs through the woods and I think ticks. She chases the armadillos that live under the neighbor’s deck and I think she’s going to exit covered in wounds. She drinks from puddles of water, I think bacteria and parasites. Despite my doggy mom/veterinarian worries I would never want to limit Jiggy’s fun. So instead I take measures to keep her safe.


I always keep her vaccines up to date. I apply her Vectra flea and tick prevention every single month, even in winter. I give her Trifexis heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention  every single month, even in winter. I make sure she always has water available when she’s outside. Even when the weather is cooler, she needs lots of water with all her activity. She always wears her collar and tags with all my contact information and she has a HomeAgain microchip should she get lost. A sales rep once gave me a Tagg GPS collar to try out, so I can even track her on my phone should she decide to go deer hunting again.  In the car, I always carry a doggy emergency kit—it contains extra slip leashes, towels, antibacterial wound cleaner, antibiotic cream, bandages, scissors and nail trimmers, KwikStop for broken nails, and a cool/warm compress. And I always make sure I know where the nearest veterinary clinic is should we need more in-depth care.


So as we head into travel season, don’t hesitate to let your pet ride along with you, but make sure you’re prepared to keep them safe so you can have as much fun watching them as I do with Jiggy!

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