ROAD TRIP TIME! Travelling with your pet

It’s time for a road trip!  If that road trip includes bringing your pet, here are some tips to make your next road trip less stressful for both you and your pet.

First, regardless of how you are travelling (road trip or otherwise) be sure your pet is microchipped and wearing a collar with a tag with all relevant contact information (Pet’s name, your name and cell number).  It’s a good idea to have a recent picture of your pet with you during your trip

Take as many car rides as you can prior to the trip, extending them each time to allow your pet to get used to being in an automobile for longer periods.

Bring a travel kit that includes:

  • Your pet’s food
  • Leash
  • Bowl
  • Bottled water (water from different areas may upset your pet’s stomach)
  • Plastic bags
  • First aid supplies
  • Your pet’s favourite toy or pillow (for a sense of security)
  • Medication (if applicable)

Plan ahead for lodging and ensure the places you stay accept pets (some have size restrictions or extra costs).

When travelling keep your pet in a well vented crate or carrier.  It should be large enough for your pet to be able to turn around, stand, sit and lie down.  If you choose not to crate your pet then ensure they have a car harness that buckles into the seatbelt.  Keep the vehicle well ventilated and don’t let your pet stick their head out an open window as they could get injured by flying debris.

If possible feed them about 4 hours before you start your trip.   It’s a good idea to spread out meal breaks and you may want to feed them lighter meals than usual (or don’t feed them at all until you stop for the day.  Some pets travel better on an empty stomach.)  Be sure to stop regularly for exercise and relief breaks.  Ensure the kids don’t tease your pet (we know that sometimes car rides can get boring!)

***NEVER leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle even with the windows open.   In the summer, your automobile becomes a furnace.  In the winter, your automobile becomes a freezer.

Have a great trip!

By Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator




The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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Last updated: March 22, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Our top priority here at Westwood Hills is the ongoing health and safety of our clients, their pets, and our dedicated team members that serve you and the community.

NEW: We kindly request that clients continue wearing facemasks during their visits to our hospital. Our staff will continue to wear masks, as they remain one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.
* *Facemasks are no longer mandatory in veterinary clinics (but still highly recommended) as per recent provincial guidelines.

Here is what you can expect during your next visit:

  • We ask that all clients keep their distance / practice social distancing.
  • Continue the use of debit / credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • For those interested we will still offer curbside pickup. Please place your food and medication order 48 hours in advance.
  • We are constantly analyzing our day to day actions and we appreciate your patience. We will continue to implement procedures that are in the best interest of both you, our clients and our staff.

    If you are not feeling well in any way, or if you have interacted with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you stay isolated and do not visit us at the clinic. If your pet needs medical attention please have a family member or friend bring in your pet or pick up prescriptions / food.


    Monday - Friday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Sunday: Closed


    Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital