Air Travel With Your Pet
Do you have to travel by air in the near future? If you do, are you a pet owner who needs to bring your pet along with you? Although most of us leave our pets at home, you may not want to do so or your purpose for travel may be to move, as opposed to taking a fun filled vacation.
Regardless of your reasons for wanting or needing to travel with your pet or pets, there are a number of important points that you will need to keep in mind.
What to do before leaving
Step one: check the regulations
The first step in traveling with a pet is to make sure that you can do so. Although a good number of airlines will allow pets on their planes, not all will. You may be in a predicament if you plan to depart from a small airport with only one or two airlines. If they do not accept pets or if their rules and restrictions are too much for you to handle, you will want to examine other nearby airports, especially those that are larger in size.
Charges and fees
When traveling by air with your pet or pets, it is important to remember that you will be charged an additional fee. Unfortunately, many first time pet travelers believe that they can use their pets and their pet carriers to count towards as a carry-on bag or a checked bag. This isn’t how it works though. You will, almost always, be charged an extra fee for traveling with a pet. This extra fee will likely depend on the airline in question and well as your pet’s location, such as in the cabin or in the baggage compartment.
Want to take your pet in the cabin?
That leads to another important point. Even with some of the airlines that allow pets, like cats and dogs, aboard their flights, not all allow pets to be in the cabin with other passengers. This is particularly common on small planes where allergies may be a big concern. If you cannot part with your pet, be sure to search for an airline that will allow you to keep him or her in the cabin with you. With that said, remember that the size of your pet will also play a huge factor in your options.
What pet carrier to get
Regardless of where your pet is stored for the plane ride, you will need to have a pet carrier or crate for them. Many airlines have specific rules and restrictions on what type can be used. Resections often include materials used, as well as size. Most will provide you with that information when asked. Speaking of pet crates and carriers, it is important to make sure that you give your pet enough room to stand and move around a little bit. In fact, most airlines will refuse to transport pets that they feel are unsafe from small pet crates and carriers.
Have your pet checked by a vet
It is also important to make sure that you get your pet checked by their vet at least 14 days before travel and no more than 30 days. You will want to make sure that your pet has all required vaccinations and that they are fit for travel. Also, all airlines require that you receive a health certificate, which will state that your pet is healthy and safe for travel.
The above mentioned points are just a few of the many that you will want to take into consideration when traveling with a pet. Added tips include booking direct flights, making sure your pet’s collar is marked with the proper identification, as well as their pet carrier.
Preparing for the trip
For many animal lovers their pet is not just a pet, but also a member of the family. As a member of the family, they get to go along on the family vacations. Traveling with a pet isn’t much different than traveling with children. The key to each is pre-trip preparations and keeping a close eye on them both.
Before you leave home
Before you leave home with your pet, you should make sure all of their required vaccinations are current and that you have packed any medication they need. A sturdy collar is a must with a tag that has your contact information. This information should include either your cell phone number or a number where you can be reached while you are on your vacation.
What to pack
What you pack for your dog can be as important as what you pack for yourself. Take along their favorite treat, toys, and bed. Having familiar things around will keep him occupied and comfortable. Bring his usual food and a jug of water and don’t forget the poop bags.
Pet Friendly Accommodations
When getting ready for trip it is important to plan ahead by looking into what type of pet friendly lodging is available and making a reservation. Luckily, there are a wide variety of pet friendly accommodations, from small budget motels to downtown premium hotels.
Also there are many destination locations that are catering to travel and vacations that you can enjoy specifically with you pet from beach villas to dude ranches. Great accommodation deals can be found in our airports section. With a bit of homework on your part before your trip, you could be sending picture postcards out of you and your pet lounging in the sun on a picturesque beach!
Additional costs and charges
Keep in mind that there can be an extra charge to keep a pet in pet friendly lodging. These fees are different for each hotel or motel and they are normally charged to cover the extra cleaning costs. Some of the budget motels have no extra fee, but they all require notification that you are bringing a pet. It’s never a good idea to try to sneak a pet into your room. Some of the pet friendly accommodations have a limit as to the size of pet you can bring and others may require that you never leave your pet alone in the room.
Finding the perfect pet friendly lodging for you and your dog or cat is easy. The right place can make your visit a memorable one.
Jiří Parimucha, May 6, 2011
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