Whether or not it is safe to travel with a dog who has kidney disease is really dependent on the severity of the illness, your dog’s temperament, and on the mode of transport that you intend to take.
It’s best to discuss your travel plans with a vet to make an accurate assessment of what’s best for your dog. The following are some factors that should be taken into consideration.
Chronic or acute kidney disease
There are two different types of kidney disease in dogs, acute and chronic. Acute kidney disease is usually caused by something outside of the kidneys, for example, cancer or ingesting poisonous materials. Acute kidney disease will usually dissipate once the underlying cause has been successfully treated.
Chronic kidney disease means that the disease is within the kidney itself and that it isn’t curable.
If your dog has acute kidney disease, they are likely to be quite unwell, and it could be a good idea to postpone any travel until the underlying cause has been treated and the symptoms have stopped.
If your dog has chronic kidney disease, the decision on whether or not to travel will be based partly on how advanced the disease is, and how severe the symptoms are.
Stages of chronic kidney disease
Dogs have a lot more kidney tissue than is actually needed, which means that it can take a long time for symptoms of chronic kidney failure to be noticed.
Chronic kidney disease is grouped into four categories; pre-failure (no symptoms), mild failure (either no symptoms or very mild symptoms), moderate failure (symptoms may still be absent, or they may be obvious), severe failure (dogs are showing signs of illness at this point).
If your dog is exhibiting kidney failure symptoms, they are probably quite uncomfortable, and traveling with them could be stressful for both you and your dog.
Dogs without symptoms may be able to travel, provided that the mode of transport is well planned.
Modes of travel
If your dog has kidney disease, it is even more important than usual that they have regular access to clean drinking water and are fed at regular intervals.
Whether a certain mode of transport is appropriate will depend largely on whether you can meet these criteria:
- Flying. Flying usually involves your pet being shut in a carrier, away from you, which could make it difficult for you to check on them regularly. Most airlines advise against flying with pets who have health conditions because they can’t guarantee that there won’t be delays that keep your pet from you for long periods of time.
- Rails. Short local rail journeys may be possible because you can keep your dog near you; however, you would need to check with the railway company because not all of them allow pets on board.
- Car. If you want to travel by car with a dog with kidney disease, then it’s important that your car is air-conditioned so that you can regulate the temperature and prevent dehydration. It’s also important that you regularly stop for water breaks.