A few general tips apply whether you travel by car or plane.Be sure your pet wears a collar with complete identification and a license tag.
Have a rabies vaccination certificate if you will travel across state or international borders.
Be prepared to present a health certificate, especially if you travel to Canada or Mexico.
Be sure to bring your pet’s favorite food, toy(s), and dishes.
Before undertaking a long trip, it would be advisable to have your pet examined by a veterinarian.
Travel By Air
Air travel is of most concern to pet owners. You can minimize the changes of an unpleasant experience by following a few guidelines.
Regulations state that dogs and cats must be at least 8 weeks old and weaned at least 5 days before flying.
Current health and rabies vaccination certificates will be required.
Contact the airline well in advance to check regulations and services, and to make reservations.
Try to book a direct, midweek flight or one with a minimum of stops.
During warmer periods reduce risk of overheating by choosing early morning or late evening flights.
Ask about other cargo on your flight (For example, fumes from dry ice can be lethal).
Be at the airport early, exercise your pet, place it in a cage yourself, and pick up your animal promptly upon arrival. Don’t take leashed animals on escalators.
The proper cage, available from most airlines or pet shops, should have the following features:
Large enough to allow the animal to stand, turn, and lie down.
Strong, free of interior protrusions, with handles or grips
Leak proof bottom covered with plenty of absorbent material
Ventilation on opposite sides, with exterior rims or knobs to prevent blocked airflow
Label “Live Animals,” with arrows indicating upright position, and your name, address, and phone number.
Consult your veterinarian for specific feeding instructions. Age and size of the pet, time and distance of the flight, and regular dietary routine must be considered.
Travel By Car
If your pet is not accustomed to the car, take it for a few short rides before the trip. Your cat might ride well in a carrying case. Following are some tips that may help the trip go a little smoother.
Stick to your regular feeding routine and give the main meal at the end of the day or when you’ve reached your destination.
It will be more convenient to feed dry food if the pet is used to it.
Dispose of unused canned food unless it can be refrigerated.
Take along a plastic jug of cold water to avoid possible stomach upset the first day.
Give small portions of both food and water and plan to stop every two hours for exercise.
Remember to include a leash in your travel kit!
Pets should not be allowed to ride with their heads outside car windows. Particles of dirt can penetrate the eyes, ears, and nose, causing injury or infections.
Excessive amounts of cold air taken into lungs can also cause illness.
When leaving your pet in a parked car, be sure to lock all doors, and open windows enough to provide ventilation without allowing the animal to jump out or get its head caught.
In warm, hot, or humid weather, you should not leave your pet in a parked car!
Grooming (bathing, combing, nail trim) before the trip will make the animal more comfortable.
Travel By Bus or Train
Most states prohibit animals on buses, and recent rules now prohibit animals on trains. Exceptions are generally made for seeing-eye dogs accompanying blind persons. Inquire in advance with your local carriers.
Courtesy of Publishers Edge