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.
Flying with animals can be tricky; however, airlines and the federal agencies that govern the airways, have set rules and regulations to help streamline the process. Keeping to the laws, can ensure that pets are safely transported through the air.
Each airline may set their rules and regulations within reason. Some airlines have even gone as far as setting up frequent pet flyer programs.
Jetpaws from JetBlue gives frequent flyers, 300 points per trip that never expire. Virgin Atlantic rewards pets by giving frequent flyers, 1,000 points that help build up to free international flights. Although Continental only gives one point per dollar spent on a pet flying in cargo space, they give customers the ability to track their pet in real time.
The best policy when booking a flight is to call the airline. It is inadvisable to go in blindly, because of the fees and certain restrictions each carrier has set. Below are a few examples of how different the charges can be.
AirTran was bought out by Southwest Airlines. However, they still have their rules for flying with pets that differ from Southwest. Animals are not allowed in the cargo area. The carrier for the pet must be able to fit under the seat, and the animal must not be sick. There is a pet and carrier weight restriction of 40 pounds or less and the fee for the animal is $65 for one-way.
Remember, call ahead to make sure pets are allowed, get all of the pertinent details so that planning the family vacation can be done without problems. Do not forget to sign up for frequent flyer miles and use them. Lastly, do not hesitate to ask for special accommodations when it comes to a service animal.
Etiquette is key to everything humans do in life – this includes traveling as well. As a guest at someone’s home, a person would not belch out loud without saying “excuse me” or, at least, showing remorse for the act. The same goes for families with animals. Manners are a must in order to keep civility.
Bear in mind, that business do not have to allow pets into their establishment, but some do, be nice to those that allow it. Make sure that the animal is trained, it would be highly rude to allow the animal to run amuck. While all dogs are not service dogs, their code of training is of the highest standard. International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) sets standards for allowing trained animals public access. While most pet owners do go to obedience training with their animals, it is a good rule of thumb to follow some of the manner tips:
The IAADP also encourages owners to test their animal. It is important that the animal knows different sites, people and venues before going out for a trip.
Having a set schedule for animals can assist in keeping things orderly. One of the things that sets a dog off quickly is not getting fed on time or being allowed to go to the restroom. It is important that a pet and its owner know the routine. An owner should always pick up after the animal has used the bathroom.
Another general rule to follow is, leash and signage laws within the city the family will be visiting. Many states prohibit animals from running around freely. Therefore, before booking a hotel and setting out on the journey, know all the answers. For example, Minnesota is a state that allows any person to impound any unlicensed dog running around without a leash. While Arizona only requires dogs to be restrained by a leash, in a car, cage or enclosure device near a park or public school. For more information, go to Animallaw.
Speaking of calling ahead, make sure the hotel and place of business that will be used, are pet-friendly. Every hotel has pet policies and can be found on their websites. For example, Holiday Inn Express in Kilgore, TX allows service animals only. However, Even Hotels, another Intercontinental Hotel Groups hotel, requires a $75 deposit to allow service animals only.
One last thing, respect other people’s space, the worst thing is to cause someone with an allergy to pet dander, to go into shock. Do not walk in a location without knowing that pets are allows. Individual stores like Old Navy, Bebe, Free People, Gap, Restoration Hardware, Home Depot and LUSH Cosmetics are pet-friendly. An excellent resource for pet-friendly locations in Canada and worldwide is www.care.com.
Traveling can be a rewarding experience, especially with the animals along for the ride. Canada is a vast country with beautiful destinations and wonderful entertainment. Pet-friendly areas can make the journey to Canada special. Although, certain steps and precautions should be handled before going on the trip.
Just as a human needs a passport and proper vaccinations, so does the pet. In general, the dog will need to have a rabies vaccination certificate in English or French, identification of what type of animal it is, date of immunization, trade name, the serial number of licensed vaccine and duration of immunity. The pet will also need a medical certification of health, stating the pet is healthy and has no diseases.
Once at the border, be prepared to show proper papers and to go through an inspection. There are two fees associated with the inspection:
Therefore, if bringing in pet food, be sure that it follows regulations. The Health of Animals Regulations has set the following standards:
Another thing that is wise to know, is the restricted breed list. Ontario and Toronto, Canada does not allow: Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers.
A family vacation is unique when traveling with a pet. Canada offers many hotels and attractions that are pet-friendly. The country in whole tries to accommodate a family with pets, so that the vacation is enjoyable.
No matter where the family decides to head off to in Canada, there are plenty of adventures waiting. More information for a pet-friendly trip to Canada can be found at PetFriendly.ca. Just remember to take care of the necessary items like rabies certification and pet kits before heading out of town. Lastly, do not forget to test to make sure the pet can handle the long distance trip and take all your necessities like travel dishes along with you.