Once a pet owner has made that journey to take the little fella on a plane trip in-cabin, the next hurdle to clear is taking it the distance – can you finagle the challenges of a long plane flight?
Most flights will easily allow for the little critter to hold it. This challenge becomes a bigger issue with international flights that can be ten hours long. There is some sound advice from those veteran pet travelers out there who can shed (no pun intended) some light on best ways to broach a pet’s comfort on a long airplane trip. The biggest issue by far is holding it. It is always sound advice to allow the pet to take a long walk to relieve the bladder before leaving for the airport – or better yet before boarding the plane. Common sense also guides to reason that it’s best not to encourage a lot of drinking or eating just before the flight.
There are two kinds of pads that are needed for the long plane flight. These pads will serve two purposes: first, to absorb wetness and general moisture from the air to keep the pet comfortable; secondly, as a wee wee pad for the most obvious use…catching accidents. A good suggestion is to place a small size pad in the bottom of the carrier to absorb uncomfortable moisture. In dire need, these small pads can serve to catch any small accidents. For a heftier solution, pack some larger more substantial pads just in case. If the dog becomes agitated and signals that urination is eminent, the owner can take them in the airplane bathroom, spread out the larger pads on the floor and allow the dog to relieve its bladder.
Even beyond limiting water before getting on the plane, it is best to take it easy on giving the pet food and water even after boarding a plane. Pet owners grimace at the notion of limiting water to a pet during a long plane flight. Just remember that when dogs sleep at night, they typically go nine hours or more without eating or drinking as well as not going to the bathroom. It’s reasonable to think that they can survive a nine-hour flight without suffering an undue amount of discomfort.
Most airlines recommend arriving early. In some cases, this advanced arrival is supposed to be three hours ahead of time for an international flight. If steps are taken to do research on the airport, a pet facility might be among the services they offer. Often, they provide open areas to walk a pet. If a pet owner takes advantage of an airport pet facility, the four-legged critter can get nice and tuckered out at the park and be ready for a nice long nap on the plane.
Some pet owners chose to take their dogs out of the carrier once on the plane. Be forewarned, that may work beautifully as many pet owners report – or it could spell disaster. There are reports on the opposite side of that coin, where the dog goes from calm and settled while in the carrier – to hyper, jumping, spazzing out and generally being the object of anger for a tired flight attendant. Might be a better idea to resist the temptation of being the loving rescuer.
Leaving an animal alone in a house while the family takes a vacation, could be atrocious. However, taking the animal along can also bring up safety hazards. Therefore, preparing the car and pet for the journey, will ensure safety for all within the car.
A person would not forget to pack their toothbrush; the same should go for the essentials for pets. As a general rule, bring the following:
Loose objects in a car become projectiles when the breaks must be pressed quickly. If the animal is not inside of a carrier, then they need to have a seatbelt or harness on, to properly guard them.
Seat-belts – Using a harness and the car’s seat-belt system, can keep any size dog from going through the window, thrashing about or moving freely. Clickit Utility has been crash-tested and proven to be top of the line of harnesses. However, the best option to get the family pet safely to the destination is a crate.
Remember, when traveling, the important thing is to get there safely. Being prepared for the worst can give the pet owner, peace of mind. Plan out what to bring on the trip and recheck to make sure everything is packed the day of the trip.
Summers can be brutal in many areas, especially in the South. Most airline carriers have taken part in keeping pets safe by implementing pet-safe programs. For example, American Airlines imposes an embargo at 85 degrees Fahrenheit if the animal is checked in or shipped as cargo. Another carrier, Delta Air, provides a Summer Live Animal Program that picks up animals by vans and delivers the animal to the destination area. Airlines impose these embargoes to keep from dehydration, heatstroke and death.
Knowing the rules and regulations of an airline carrier can help with planning a trip. Nonetheless, knowing that the airline will keep the family pet safe is the most important thing.
The importance of embargoes during summer and extreme winter temperatures are there to keep animals safe. However, even with precautions, things do happen.
Although most know not to leave any animal in the car or closed spaces during high temperatures, sometimes it is forgotten. Therefore, getting the pet out of sunlight or a hot area, is the first step in cooling the animal down. Cool cloths should be placed upon the head and in the front of the neck immediately to bring the animals’ temperature down. Leave the eyes, nose and mouth area open so that the animal does not panic and can breathe. Keep water running onto the belly of the animal, this will help in cooling down the internal organs. As soon as the pet is cooled off enough that their breathing is not erratic, take them to the veterinarian.
Summer’s high heat can cause dehydration quickly. Make sure the animal has fresh, clean water at all times and clean the water bowl daily, so bacteria are not an issue. Do not exercise with the animal in extreme heat of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. When trying to re-hydrate, use Pedialyte mixed with water to provide nutrients lost. Keep the animal in a cool place while transporting to the veterinarian.
Traveling can be hard at times, especially if bringing a pet along for the trip. However, planning for the trip can enable smooth sailing along the way. Never leave the house without planning in-depth, how every person including pets will be getting to the final destination.
Focus on getting the pet ready for the trip, this will help to make sure everything is in place before getting yourself prepared.
Government agencies like the Center for Disease Control can help guide travelers on their trips. The United States Department of Agriculture has helpful hints on how to successfully travel with a pet and significant numbers for import and export questions. Another go-to website is the American Veterinary Medical Association. This website covers travel by plane or boat as well as helps find national emergency and non-emergency veterinarians.
Finding hotels or businesses that allow pets can be a daunting task. However, Pet Friendly Hotels, a website dedicated to all hotels that provide services to dogs, is now available for use. The website also offers pet travel tips and guides. Although most businesses and restaurants do not cater to animals, Pet Friendly Restaurants has put a list together for every bar and restaurant in each state. International destinations that are pet friendly can be found at Bring Fido. The staff has put together a complete list of requirements, restrictions and regulations for each country.
In closing, remember to prepare the pet for travel. Throwing them into a bumpy ride through turbulent skies can cause them to panic. Try to find the shortest flight in order to keep the risk of harm down for the pet. Always make sure the pet is ready for travel and can handle being inside of a carrier for the entire plane ride.
The first and most fundamental consideration in hiking with a dog is to remember that there are many types of hikes and immense variations on dog sizes, types and abilities – making it a mistake to lock in on one mindset of what “hiking with a dog” even means. Let’s start off by agreeing that the term “hiking” means different things to different people. There is no wrong way to approach a hike with your dog and the possibilities to approach this are endless.
The type of dog, its breed and size will all have bearing on what the actual dog hike might look like. There is a plethora of questions to consider. Is the dog a candidate to be a pack dog or not? Is the relationship between the owner and pet suitable for the pet to follow commands? Is the dog generally energetic and up for any new physical challenge or is it more of a pooch who is a proverbial lounging couch potato – looking for a spot to take a nice nap? Is this a wolf breed (like a German shepherd) that is genetically geared for what we typically envision as a good hiking dog? Or is it instead a little Dachshund with short legs and long body – making its low undercarriage a difficult hurdle in almost any terrain with clearance issues? All of these considerations will help define what particular “hike” we are speaking of here.
Remember, we certainly don’t have to adhere to some vision of a large long-legged breed bounding over the tops of bushes and sage brush – surging ahead of its owner to reach the summit. A hiking scenario that falls short of that picture should not be discounted. A revised type of hike that meets the specific needs of the pet is more than suitable.
The most important consideration is that the owner and dog get an outing, each get exercise and enjoy a new experience. This can be accommodated in a great many ways. Small dogs, aged dogs or generally inactive dogs can be accommodated by selecting less challenging hiking paths. There are also many tools to help make hikes enjoyable even if they don’t have the stamina to go the entire distance. Many small dogs can enjoy a hike if they have an option to be carried in a dog perch backpack in an outdoor setting or in a stroller where the terrain allows. Brachycephalic breeds overheat more easily so small accommodations can make hiking within limits possible rather than not hiking at all.
Whether the type of hike is in a rustic outdoor setting where the owner and pet are sleeping in a tent and careening over challenging terrain – or it consists of a day hike on a groomed trail in a city park…never forget to prepare for the basics. For the pet’s safety and comfort, it warrants thinking ahead and anticipating basic things you’ll need to take along. It’s always a good idea to make a mental journey through the trip to jog your memory on details of needed items you may have forgotten. Regardless of where you hike, the pet will need:
Unless a pet weighs 15 lbs. or less, it is not eligible to fly in-cabin with its owner and will need to fly either as checked baggage or cargo. As is true with anything that flies these days, there are arduous rules and limitations. For the most part, rules which regulate flying animal passengers as well as the containers and conditions they are allowed to fly in have been created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Overall, the IATA standards are widely respected and adopted by the world’s airlines. However, it is not 100% standardized at this point. To view individual airlines’ requirements, go to www.pettravel.com. This handy resource allows you to individually look at over 160 airlines’ requirements.
Whether the pet will be flying as checked baggage or as cargo, it will be in a temperature controlled and pressurized compartment – safely just beneath the cabin where the humans are. With the exception of Southwest, AirTran, JetBlue, Frontier and Virgin America – most airlines accept lives animals on board as cargo and have specific provisions and conditions for handling them. Cargo animal crates must be IATA compliant and may need to meet additional standards – dependent upon which airline is involved.
Planning ahead can help when disaster strikes. Whether or not there is an emergency, following emergency protocol can assist in keeping vacations, drama free.
Preparing for all kinds of sickness is the best course of action. In any first aid kit for a dog, the following should be included:
Seizures are one of the most common signs of eating poison. However, it could also be a symptom of: liver disease, kidney disease, blood sugar issues, anemia, stroke, encephalitis and brain cancer. The ability to understand that a seizure could be life threatening, will help in knowing what to do.
Broken Bones can be devastating to an animal. Therefore, knowing how to treat and act around the pet, can keep the pet calm and from causing further damage.
Remember, to be prepared and to know how to handle situations, this will cut down on the panic and keep the dog calm. Do not hesitate to call a veterinarian in case of an emergency and know where they are located.
When leaving a pet is not an option, traveling with them can be an incredible adventure. Instead of going in blindly on a trip, prepare for it by following some general tips.
Here are some items to include in the first aid kit:
Before making a long trip, it is wise to test each pet. Start out slow with a 20-mile journey. During this voyage, take note on how the pet acts. Some questions to ask while observing the animal:
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it is important to face these issues head on before taking any other trips. For a scared or antsy pet, bring things from home that makes them comfortable. Those pets that are uncontrollable, may have to ride in their carrier to keep them calm enough to make the trip. Don’t forget to take a break in between to give your dog a run.
Once the first test is done and any issues that come up are corrected, try again. On the next test, a longer time should be tested, preferably going for about two hours. Remember, to ask those questions each time, to see how the pet does. If the second go around is successful, traveling with a pet should not be an issue. However, be ready in case things do not go as planned.
For most pet owners, the initial thought of being thrilled that you can take your pet along with you in-cabin on the flight is almost immediately followed by visions of a nightmare scenario – fearing how disastrous that endeavor might actually be. Going through security gates and check in process can hold anxiety if traveling without a pet. Trying to imagine all the usual issues while finagling a pet can be a daunting thought to say the least.
Then there are the worries about getting that pet carrier neatly and snugly under the seat in front of you in a manner that is both comfortable for the pet and not offensive to other passengers. Lastly, there’s that tendency for the pet to be particularly squirmy and anxious when the plane is on the runway taxying for takeoff. The solution can be found by making the carrier as comfortable as possible. Let’s discuss how.
The worst scenario is springing a carrier on the pet for the first time on the day of travel. Since the pet can’t ride on the owner’s lap, the carrier needs to substitute as the next best thing. The noises, movement and experiences on the plane will naturally be a very unsettling experience for the little critter. Every step should be taken to make that all important carrier a familiar and reassuring place to be. To the degree possible, the carrier should have a positive affiliation to the pet as a new travel home.
Using the pet carrier on the day of a scheduled flight should be one among many experiences the dog has already had in his/her carrier. It will make the carrier all that more alluring if it is associated with places that are favorites and experiences that the pet adores – like taking her to a favorite store and getting extra dog treats or an outing to an off-the-leash park. To add positive associations, try tossing favorite treats into the carrier, taking opportunities to give her special loves and tickles while inside the carrier and making certain to include the carrier in game time. Making the carrier a non-threatening and safe place to be will make it a calming factor on the day of travel.
Beyond getting the carrier to be a source of comfort and connection, the items inside the carrier can also increase comfort and lessen anxiety. Any toys or favorite items can serve as a distraction to help curb the canine’s nerves. If the pet is a chewer, be certain to provide a rawhide bone or favorite item to chew. Smells can also be crucial. Since the pet will be on the floor in the seat in front of the owner, a soft garment- even a worn-out t-shirt that smells like the owner can reassure the pet. And in the absence of the owner’s arms, sneaking a few fingers inside the pet carrier to give the critter a few reassuring strokes will go a long way to calm anxious nerves.
Make certain to give the dog a long walk before you leave for the airport. If you want to give an extra measure for relaxation, consider a spritz of lavender spray. You might also consider other sprays to relax your pet during flight (Comfort Zone with DAP or Rescue Remedy Pet). Quite often, the dog is anxious just before takeoff. Once in flight, most dogs become calm and fall asleep.
When a pet owner travels, it always presents the gut wrenching dilemma of what to do with a loved pet. The proposition of leaving the pet behind in a kennel, asking a friend to “pet sit” or using those upscale doggie hotels that most of us don’t consider affordable – are not attractive options. Perhaps there’s another possibility. Consider taking the dog with you the next time to fly.
Being able to take a small dog in-cabin on a plane is a huge relief to many pet owners. Expect to have the best possible outcome if time is allotted to think ahead, make plans and take appropriate action. If a pet is to ride on the plane in-cabin, there are requirements to consider.
The pet must be able to comfortably fit in a pet carrier that will fit beneath the seat in front of you on the plane. Generally, a pet more than 15 lbs. is too large to qualify. An appropriate carrier should be FAA approved and be no larger than 17” x 12” x 8”. Soft-sided carriers are preferable as they can be squished and made to fit into the available space. As long as the pet is comfortable, can re-position itself while enclosed in the case and can breathe properly, the pet carrier will be suitable for the pet as well as satisfactory from the airline’s point of view.
There will be two distinct steps in making the airline reservations if intending to fly in-cabin with a pet.
Keep in mind: To ensure the pet gets in under the maximum number of pets allowed, it’s wise to make flight arrangements as far in advance as possible. A fee will be charged for the pet to travel in-cabin. The fee is waived for service or therapy dogs.
To be amply prepared for any outcome, items should be packed both for the flight as well as layover or wait times in the airport. In order to have everything you need for your pet – at the time it’s needed, it’s wise to pack items both in your check in luggage and in your carry-on. Among the general items, you’ll need to pack are:
Last but certainly not least, once on the plane and settled, a few affectionate strokes might be just what’s needed to seal the deal.