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Pet Travel Article

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Car Travel with Your Pet  Back to our travel products selection

Plan ahead for a great trip!

Many pets, especially dogs, are great travelers and enjoy a vacation as much as any other family member. 

Some pets, however, would be happier staying at home in familiar surroundings, eagerly awaiting your return. Cats rarely enjoy traveling. Most are stressed by riding in a car. Traveling with a cat can also increase the risk of it being lost.

If you plan to travel with your pet, the following tips will help assure your pet is safe and comfortable while on a vacation with you.

Not Just Smart -- It's the Law!
Ever notice when you enter some states that you'll see large signs saying "Buckle up; it's the law!" In California, that law applies to pets too. The California "tether law" provides for fines of not less than $50 for people driving with animals that are not restrained. And in some states, like New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, dogs are banned from pickup trucks (with the exception of certain working dogs).

People are beginning to understand that vehicle restraints for pets are essential for the safety of all the passengers (human and animal). Restraints also help a pet feel more secure while traveling, especially when you have to make some quick turns or maneuvers.

Is your pet a traveler?
Before making plans to travel with your pet, determine whether it can travel in a car without becoming sick or stressed. Start with short trips. Consult your veterinarian if you think your pet may need medication to travel comfortably. Tranquilizers should be given only upon the advice of your veterinarian.  There are many natural products on the market such as Calmative for Pets that can help calm your pet when traveling.

Your dog or cat should wear a collar and an identification tag at all times, especially when you are traveling. Information on the tag should include a telephone number that will be answered while you are away from home.  

Food, water and equipment
Take along your pet's food and water, dishes, bedding and leash. Keep fresh water in a thermos or canteen and offer your pet water frequently. Arrange to keep your pet on its normal diet. Familiar food, dishes, leash, and bedding will be comforting in strange surroundings. If your pet is a cat or small dog, take along a pet carrier. Your pet will probably feel more secure resting inside the carrier.

Vaccinations and health certificate
Have your dog or cat examined by your veterinarian prior to travel. Make certain your pet's vaccinations are current, including a parvovirus vaccination if your pet is a dog. Take along proof of current rabies vaccination.

Protect your pet
Supervise your pet carefully. Pets left unattended are easy victims for thieves who make money from trading animals. If your pet is a cat, make certain it is leashed or secured in a carrier any time you are getting out of your car.

Exercise your dog on a leash or under your immediate control. If you leave your pet alone in a hotel or motel room, place the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door.

In hot weather, animals can suffer from heat prostration very quickly if left in a car even if the windows are partially open.  The Pet-Vent for Cars - Window Barrier may work for short periods.

Booking a room
Traveling with a pet requires careful consideration. It is possible to find hotels and motels throughout the United States and Canada that will accommodate pets. Your lodging plans will have to be made in advance and your mobility will be restricted by "No Pet" regulations in many public and private areas.

Make advanced reservations. Telephone ahead to determine whether pets are permitted and, if so, under what conditions. This will prevent aggravation and save time. There are numerous hotels, motels, and campsites that welcome pets as guests. Some motels limit the number of rooms for travelers with pets, and some require pets to be housed in a separate kennel facility. Note that Hawaii has a 120-day quarantine before pets can be admitted into the state.

Assuring your pet's safety and comfort will make traveling easy and enjoyable for you and your pet. 

The Pet-Friendly Skies - (air travel with your pet)   Back to our travel products selection

Most people feel that it's next to impossible to take their pet on a plane when, in reality, it's largely a matter of being well informed.  Unfortunately, if you own anything larger than a small dog, you cannot take it in the cabin. This means your pet has to travel as checked baggage or cargo. 

Here are some general tips to bear in mind:

  • Never sedate your pet on a flight. High altitudes and sedatives are a dangerous combination and should never be mixed. 

  • Always have your pet's leash and collar easily accessible for walking prior to departure, but do not take the pet out of the kennel inside the airport. 

  • Identification tags for your pet and travel kennel, including pet's name, home address and phone number, are essential. 

  • Never use a muzzle on your pet during travel, as this is dangerous to the pet. 

  • Familiarize your pet with the kennel prior to the trip so that it is comfortable to him/her at travel time.

  • Always make advanced reservations or arrangements with the airline when you are making your own reservations. The airline always reserves the right to refuse travel if there are too many pets on board, so make sure you advise them early. 

  • Whether your pet will travel with you in the cabin or as checked luggage in the cargo area (this will be primarily determined by size), your pet will need to be contained in a kennel or container for the entire trip. 

In selecting a kennel, you must first determine the proper size. Your pet's size is determined by the following:

  • Length: from nose to root of tail

  • Width: length across shoulders

  • Height: (in standing position with head erect) from ground to highest point

It is important that your pet can stand, sit, turn around, and lie down comfortably throughout the flight.

Your Pet's Suitcase     Back to our travel products selection

Items to include when packing your pet's suitcase:


Pet Travel Tips Pet Car Travel Air Travel with dog cat 

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