Tips to Safely Travel With Pets
My sister-in-law just got herself a gorgeous puppy. The new member of the family had to do some traveling to get to his new home and we found ourselves digging for information on how to safely travel with a pet.
Here are some pet travel tips we learned and I thought might be useful to you as well.
Approximately 75 percent of pet owners do not trust airlines with their pets when traveling in the cargo hold, an inaugural survey by Harris for DogVacay shows.
The survey also states that owners spend time worrying about their pets instead of enjoying themselves while traveling. Owners can stop worrying about the pet left at home by traveling with him. For owners who have concerns about flying with their pets, Air Travel Consumer Reports shows that there are very few pet incidents on airplanes.
Traveling by Plane
If you decide to travel by air, the best place for your pet is in his crate or carrier inside the cabin. The majority of airlines allow you to keep a small dog or cat in the cabin. However, there is usually an additional fee when you choose this option. Call the airline as soon as possible because limits are set as to the number animals allowed to remain in the cabin on each flight.
- Be sure to inquire about size requirements.
- If you are unable to bring your pet in the cabin, there are ways to keep him more comfortable and safe in the cargo hold.
- Ask to watch your pet as he is loaded and unloaded from the plane’s cargo hold.
- Use a direct flight. This avoids airline transfer mistakes and delays in removing your pet from the plane.
- Upon boarding the plane, notify the captain and a flight attendant that your pet is in the cargo hold. The captain may take special precautions if he knows a pet is on board.
- Purchase a collar for your pet that cannot be caught on the doors of his carrier. This collar needs two pieces of identification: A permanent ID that lists your name, phone number and home address and a temporary ID listing the telephone number and vacation address
- Clip his nails to keep him from getting them caught on the carrier’s holes, crevices or door.
- Discontinue feeding him about four hours before the trip. He can have small amounts of water. Consider placing ice cubes in his crate’s water tray.
- Place a label on his carrier that has your name, permanent address, phone number, and destination, as well as where you can be reached once you land.
Because the cargo hold is not cooled or heated and has no ventilation until the plane is in flight, preflight is the most dangerous time for him. For this reason, in the summer, choose late evening or early morning flights and in the winter choose an afternoon flight.
Animals such as bulldogs, Pekingese dogs, and Persian cats should never be placed in the cargo hold. These (special!) snub-nosed animals physiology impairs their ability to breathe easily in stressful or hot conditions. Some airlines do not carry these animals.
Another survey conducted by Dogtrekker.com finds that traveling with a dog is getting easier with more than 80 percent of travelers using search engines and travel sites to plan their vacations.
Once you decide to take a vacation with your pet, keep in mind the time of year you will be traveling. A destination like Wisconsin Dells is great for a summer getaway and sites like dells.com offer information about pet-friendly hotels and activities. During the winter months, a visit to the warm waters, sandy beaches, and sun in Key West is ideal.
Traveling by Car
If you choose to drive, the safest place for your pet is in his carrier secured in the back seat. If your pet is in the front seat and the air bag deploys, he could become injured. Another great option are car hammocks.
When stopping to allow your pet to eliminate or exercise, always have him on a leash with a current ID tag.
Never leave your pet in the car alone. Even a quick stop can become hazardous. Temperatures rise quickly in vehicles during the summer months. For instance, if it is 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside your car reaches about 102 degrees in as little as 10 minutes. This is true even if a window is left cracked.
Here is a great infographic by the Marriot that will help you further in making your pet safer and happier on your travels.
Wishing you and your pet safe travels!