Going on vacation is one of the most pleasurable times in many people’s lives. Unfortunately, it can be one of the most stressful times for our beloved pets. For some sending Fido to the kennel is out of the question. Here is some important advice for anyone wishing to travel with his or her four legged companions.
Common sense is one of our most precious allies when traveling with our pets and following is a list of great tips to ensure the safety of our pets
Must not forgets:
Your pet’s favorite bed and toys Plenty of food. Changing food can disrupt the digestive system Copies of up to date records of all shots especially rabies Collar and leash Identification tag (consider micro chipping) Prescribed medications Lots of treats Photos of your pet Your veterinarians phone number
When traveling by car:
Stop at least every 100 miles or 3 hours to give your pet a chance to stretch, walk, drink and of course empty their bladder. Always have your pets on leash when traveling. Even if they are off-leashed trained. Use a harness that is made to clip into the car’s seat belt while traveling Always clean up after your pet at all rest areas. Make sure your pet is wearing an identifying tag with a phone number that is appropriate for your trip. Cell phones are best. Never leave a pet alone in a car, especially in hot or cold climates. Extreme temperature changes can happen in minutes and can be fatal.
When traveling by plane:
Many airlines will allow you to travel with your pet on the same flight. Small pets generally less than ten pounds can travel in an airline-approved carrier that will fit under your seat. For larger pets the airline has accommodations in cargo. Be sure to check with your airlines regarding fees and restrictions. Often there is limited space for animals so if you plan on traveling with your pet you should try to book as early as possible.
Pets brought for travel on airlines must be a minimum of eight weeks old and be fully weaned; In addition airlines will not allow pets that are uncontrollable, ill, in heat or pregnant. Pets should not be sedated for air travel. All pets for air travel will need a recent health certificate generally within 48 hours of travel as well as documentation of vaccinations and any medications he may be taking.
When traveling in cargo it is important that the crate you choose is large enough for the pet to stand without touching the top, turn around and lay back down comfortably. The crate needs to be clearly marked as “Live Animal” and should also include your name, address, and phone number (a cell phone number is best). Your final destination is also a good idea to include just in case your pet is misplaced in transit. The inside of the crate must have a food and water cup attached to it and it is a good idea to supply a zip lock bag with some extra food just in case of any delays.
For the smaller pets traveling with you it is generally easier since you will be there to care for him. A soft-sided carrier bag is generally all that is needed, Check with your airlines for any size requirements.
Upon Arrival at your destination:
Many hotel chains and campsites welcome our companion animals as their quests. When booking your room ask about additional fees for having your pets stay with you as well as any rules. Try not to leave your pet alone in the room for long periods. Remember this is a strange place for him and he will be nervous if left alone.
If you are staying with a friend or relative be certain to ask their permission to bring your pet. Do not assume that just because you love Fido so will they. Upon arrival ask your guest where they would like you to walk your dog. Always clean up after him and be respectful of your guests’ home.
So why leave your favorite pets at home? With a little bit of planning, your companion can enjoy in all your family festivities