Guest post by Sheron Long, author of “Dog Trots Globe”
Make your vacation even more fun by bringing your furry friend. With proper preparation, you can choose the right airline, crate and get Fido ready for a fun adventure.
Dog Trots Globe is a travelogue by Sheron Long that recounts travel adventures through France with her furry companion Chula. Chula visit farmers markets, enjoy sunny lunches outside and make friends in Paris. Chula has since flown to France a few more times and has her crate packed in hopes of another adventure.
The best trip, Sheron said was when Chula came along. “I wrote this book to share the joie de vivre I relish when I’m in France and to help others know how easy—and how much fun—it is to travel with your pup,” she said.
Some tips to consider for traveling with your pets.
1. Consider the time of year
If it is too hot or too cold, it may not be safe for your pup to fly, and some airlines may not agree to board your pet.
2. Research Airlines
Find out about airline safety records and regulations before getting your tickets. PetFlight.com offers safety records and PetTravelStore.com provides pet policies and regulations for each airline.
3. Make Phone Reservations
Make your reservations on the phone to guarantee a spot for your pet on your flight since most airlines limit the number of pets in the cabin and the hold.
4. Choose Non-Stop Flights
Whenever possible book non-stop flights so that your furry friend doesn’t have to change planes or end up caught at an airport during delays. If you have to switch planes, find out about the airline’s policies on keeping pets safe during a layover. Some offer pet hotels and air-conditioned vans during the wait. Avoid at all costs airlines that leave your pet waiting on a hot tarmac.
5. Proof of Vaccinations
Make sure to have your pet’s health certificates (issued within 10 days prior to flying) and proof of vaccinations handy for international trips. Forms for a “Pet Passport” to various countries are available here, and here you can also find out the signatures you need and the fees that apply.
Make sure your pet is microchipped so that no one gets lost on the trip. Place a GPS device on the collar so you can track your pet in case she gets out of sight. Some countries require that the pet is microchipped, but not all have the scanners to read them. Bring your own portable scanner to provide proof.
7. Choose the Right Crate
Your pet’s size will determine travel in-cabin or in the hold. If your pet will need a crate to go in the hold, be sure to get one (preferably with wheels) that is airline-approved. Go to Pettravel.com for list of carrier requirements.
8. Information Sticker
Affix a sticker to the top of the crate with information on the pet’s name, airline and flight number, departure and destination cities, the planned departure and arrival times, and a mobile phone number where you can be reached.
9. Freeze Water Bowl
Dehydration during flight is the greatest danger. Freezing the water bowl before boarding really helps eliminate spills and ensuring that your dog has water during flight. Another option is to fasten a drip bottle if your dog knows how to use it. If not, put a bit of peanut butter at the end of the tube so your dog gets acquainted with the process quickly.
10. Do Not Medicate
Experts in the pet transport industry do not recommend sedatives as they increase dehydration.
11. Emergency Pet Clinics
Go to PetFlight.com for a list of vets and emergency pet clinics in the USA. If you’re traveling internationally, ask your hotel or a local tourist office for a vet recommendation as soon as you arrive.
12. Bring Food
Pack your pet’s favorite food to bring with you so she can have a treat shortly after landing. It’s one way to bring along a little bit of “home.” But, if you’re coming back into the USA from a foreign destination, do not bring any food as the officials will confiscate the food or, worse, fine you.
13. Pack Two Leashes
Bring two leashes because they are so easy to lose. Invest in a good harness that goes around the dog’s body and makes it easier to walk.
To receive a free copy of our ebook, 70 Secrets to Safe Travel — Because Your Life Can Change in a Heartbeat, and for more travel savvy info to help you travel smarter, safer and with more enjoyment, visit SmartWomenTravelers.com and PearlsofTravelWisdom.com.
Photo credit – Chris Boland