Pet Travel: What to do when traveling with pets
Pet air travel tips, road trip tips and more Pets are like a child to many and the thought of leaving them at home while on vacation is not an option for some. However, before taking your pets on vacation with you, there are several items that you need to be aware of and a few pet travel tips that need to be followed.
Pet travel decisions While it may be tempting to bring your pet with you on vacation, keep in mind that some animals are not suited for travel whether it is due to illness, age or physical impairments. It is very important to consult with your veterinarian about pet travel and pet air travel before embarking on a trip to ensure the safety of your pet.
Trains, planes and automobiles
Pet air travel Every airline has different rules and regulations when it comes to flying with pets. So to avoid finding out your airline doesn’t allow pet travel at the last minute, there are several things that you can do. First, contact your airline well in advance and find out their pet air travel regulations. Carrying your pet on board with you is the best option, but oftentimes cargo is the only option with some airlines if your pet is large. While Congress did pass the Safe Air Travel for Animals Act in April 2000, there are several items that need to be considered to ensure your pet’s safety while flying in cargo. First, many airlines have specific carrier requirements so make sure you fulfill these. Second, make sure the carrier you choose is large enough for your pet to be able to turn around in and be comfortable for the long flight. Third, try to make sure it is a non-stop flight to ensure that your pet does not get lost. Fourth, correctly adhere a label on the pet carrier with your phone number, address, final destination and contact number while on vacation. There are plenty of other considerations and tips that can be found by looking at the Humane Society’s Web site. If your airline does not allow pets to travel or you are wary of transporting your pet via cargo, you have other options to consider.
Road trip with pets Many pets love traveling by car; so it is a personal decision as to whether your pet needs to be kept in a carrier or not. Cats oftentimes are uncomfortable traveling, so it is better to keep them in a carrier for their safety and yours. If the pet is not going to be kept in a carrier you need to make sure they are safely secured in the vehicle. There are special harnesses that can be bought to secure or “seatbelt” your dog in safely. It is important to stop frequently when traveling with pets to let them exercise and go to the bathroom.
Trains, buses and ships Very few ships allow pets to accompany travelers and Amtrak does not allow pets. However, many European trains and a few small US railroad companies allow pets on board. As far as buses and other public transportation, the rules and regulations vary between states and cities.
Pet accommodations There are hundreds of Web sites out there that list pet friendly hotels and a pet-friendly hotel can be found in almost any city. For example if you’re traveling to San Francisco you can stay at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District or if you’re visiting Austin you can stay at the La Quinta Inn Austin North.
Pet Fun Wherever you are vacationing, a pet-friendly park or beach can be found and outdoor related activities are best for pet travelers. For restaurants, outdoor places will oftentimes allow pets to accompany.
When traveling with pets it is important to ensure their safety and not to do anything that could put them in danger. And if you’re going to bring your pet with you, make sure that you will be able to entertain them. Here’s to happy traveling!