Traveling with pets isn’t always simple. Traveling with a diabetic pet is certainly feasible, but you will need to take a few extra steps in your trip planning.

Insulin should be refrigerated or kept cold. While a small cooler with ice or ice packs is easy to put together, maintaining the temperature inside of the cooler can be time consuming and messy.

American Diabetes Wholesale offers a wide variety of very affordable options that can keep your insulin cold and protected. There are travel wallets which are perfect for 1-2 day trips and micro-refrigerators that can be plugged into the outlets in your car or the hotel you are staying at.

Eating patterns can be affected by stress. If your pet is anxious, your pet may eat less than normal. Take your pet’s regular diet, but just in case you might also take a can of your pet’s favorite canned food or deli meat. If your pet eats less than normal on the trip, you might give a lower amount of insulin than you typically give for that meal. If driving, try to schedule stops when your pet normally takes a meal. Try to keep patterns as normal as possible.

If you use a glucose meter, take it with you on the trip. (See our archives for home glucose monitoring.) If your pet isn’t eating normally, nothing beats knowing the blood glucose level when you are determining how much insulin to give. Be sure to take your vet’s phone number with you if you need to ask questions.

If you are traveling during the holidays, be sure to tell your friends and relatives that your diabetic pet has special dietary needs. Ask with all the earnest sincerity you can muster that they don’t feed your pet table scraps. Diabetes is best controlled with consistent feedings of your pet’s diabetic food. Many holiday treats are fatty or sugary. Such foods can send your pet’s diabetes into a tailspin.

Checklist for travel:

  • Insulin and cooler to keep it cold
  • Syringes (take extra in case of travel delays) and sharps container
  • Your pet’s regular diet and approved diabetic treats
  • Your pet’s favorite canned food or deli meat
  • Your pet glucose meter and test strips
  • Plenty of water
  • Your pet’s comfy bed and food/water bowls to minimize stress of change
  • Your veterinarian’s contact information
  • Any other medications your pet takes
  • Leash for dogs, pet carrier and litter and litter box for cats
  • Your pet’s diabetes journal

Traveling comfortably and safely with a diabetic pet is possible. Take the time to plan ahead and both you and your beloved pet will enjoy your travels even more.

We at American Diabetes Wholesale wish you happy travels!

Dr . Joi Sutton

Dr . Joi Sutton

Dr. Joi Sutton is a 1993 graduate from Oregon State University. She has practiced both in emergency medicine and general practice. Dr. Sutton has done extensive international volunteer work and is the President and Founder of Veterinary Ventures, a nonprofit organization that takes teams of veterinarians to undeveloped countries for humane medical care. She also runs a small animal practice in South Florida.
Dr . Joi Sutton