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Eco Lassie knows that your pet is part of your Eco Family and you want to take the same careful care of them that you do the rest of your loved ones. As you make your summer vacation plans, what will you do with your pet? Will you get a house sitter for Fido, or kennel Fifi when you leave on your jaunt?
Maybe you’d like to take your pet with you for their fun and your companionship, or your pet sitter just bowed out.
If you’re not certain if your pet has the temperament to travel, ask your vet. Evaluate how your pet travels on their trips to the vet. Does she get car sick or become highly anxious? Or does he revel in the new scenery?
Some pets eventually settle down to sleep and enjoy sniffing new and strange lands.
Your mode of travel with your pet must be carefully considered. Let’s see the challenges.
BY AIR: Smaller airlines such as Southwest and Frontier only accept assistance pets, but larger airlines such as American, Northwest, Delta and United all have pet policies on a broader range. Most airlines adhere to a day-of- travel temperature restriction if your pet is to travel as cargo: It can’t be above 85 degrees or below 45 deg. on the day of travel, and for snub-nosed dogs/cats (such as Bull dogs/Persians) that may be adjusted to 75 deg. Most will not allow any pet in the cargo hold if the outside temp is below 20 degrees. Check with your individual airline for their policy, and if a vet statement will waive this restriction if it’s close.
Fees range between $100-$150 one way for a container pet in cargo. Most holds are loud, poorly ventilated, and the temp inside can range between 50-70 degrees. No collapsible kennels are allowed, and there are size restrictions.
Inside the cabin, pets usually must be less than 20 lbs and the cost ranges between $50-100 depending on the airline.
Don’t sedate your pet: this affects your animals balancing ability and equilibrium. Also, the high altitudes may cause cardiac or respiratory problems in sedated pets.
Most airlines do not charge or assistance pets, however proof of current rabies over 12 mos is needed for any pet. These are guidelines only for travel within the US. You must research your airline for their particular policy.
BY CAR: By far the most common method of travel with pets is by car. Cats travel better in a carrier, which should be restrained for sudden stops. You can also crate dogs, but most like to travel looking out the window, although you should NEVER allow your pet to hang his head outside the window on a major roadway, and he or she should wear a safety harness and ride in the back seat.
REALLY. Remember those sudden stops? The poor driver who swerves into your lane?
Allow frequent stops at rest areas to allow your pet to exercise, have a drink and do his business. Carry a collapsible water container and a jug of water in case your stoppping point does not have a fountain. Pets usually travel with just water and don’t need to be fed. Bring a few treats if your day will be long but don’t worry about food until you stop for the night. Most dogs can even fast for a day with no ill affects, as they do this in nature. It’s water that’s key.
If you’re camping, keep your pet in your tent to avoid other pets in the campground and wild creatures such as raccoons, squirrels and insect bites. Most pets take well to camping.
If your trip means hotel or motel stops, searching for Pet Friendly accommodations has never been easier.
http://www.tripswithpets.com lists over 20,000 pet friendly motels, B&B’s, inns, resorts, and rentals.
http://www.petsonthego.com boasts 30,000 listings. You should crate your pet if you leave him or her in your room to hit the pool or go out to eat. Put out the Do Not Disturb sign, and let the maid know if possible, or your chocolates may be gone.
BY SHIP: Most shipping lines only allow assistance dogs in staterooms, but there are a few that have pet kennels where you can go down and visit your pet daily. Consult with your line. There are more charter boats that will allow pets. Many boat owners report that their cats and dogs make great sailing companions.
BY BUS/TRAIN: Only assistance pets except for some small local train lines. Many European trains do allow pets, but I’m talking within the US.
Last but not least at all, don’t forget a small First Aid kit when you travel with your pet.
Carry bandages, antibiotic ointment, gauze and antidiarrheal and antinausea meds. Add an index card with the phone numbers of your vet, poison control hotline, and where you will be traveling and staying for handy access.
Add a tag to your pets collar indicating where you are staying on your travel route or your cell phone # in case you are separated.
With some forethought and preparation, Fido or Fifi will be happily enjoying your company poolside!