Pets – How to Travel with your Pet

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


Travel Safety Tips

It is always good common sense to keep the following safety tips in mind when traveling:

  • Always lock your front and/or patio doors – when in the room and when leaving. Use the safety chain/lock for security.
  • Never open your room door unless you know who is there. If you did not call for hotel service offered by the person at the door, call hotel security or the front desk to see if they have sent someone to your room.
  • Place valuables in a safety deposit box in your room or at the hotel office.
  • When checking into a hotel, consult the floor plan map on the back of your room door to familiarize yourself with fire and emergency exits.
  • When driving, keep all car doors locked.

Preparing for your Family Vacation

You booked the flight and bought a suitcase plus some new clothes. Now it’s time to think about the not-so-fun checklist items you need to take care of before you head out on your vacation. Here’s advice for taking care of the pet and the lawn, plus tips on cameras, currency and kids.

CARING FOR PETS

Pet sitting is by far the best option instead of a kennel. The animals get to stay in their own environment, play with their own toys and eat their own food. Make sure the company you choose is licensed and insured, and you’ve had at least an hour visit with the sitter. You definitely want to make sure the pet has their immunizations taken care of, and have copies of that for the pet sitter. Have a good backup of the vet number and any contact information in case something happens.

GRASS GROWTH

There is no way of slowing down grass growth while you’re gone, short of starving it of water and letting it die, unfortunately. There are no proven retardants for turf because of the varying conditions in the soil. Mowing the yard once a week is good for most Florida lawns. As far as invasive species, there is always the chance Brazilian Pepper or Bermuda, grass could creep in from a neighbor’s yard. You can even have plant material brought in on someone’s pruners. The best way to prevent that is to hire a knowledgeable landscape contractor.

VACATION CURRENCY

Have all three forms of financial currency with you when you travel, just from a safety standpoint. You want some of the local currency for tips or small purchases, traveler’s checks for safety (because if it’s American Express, for instance, and you lose it, you’re safe), and a credit card for big purchases (for warranty protection in the event of theft or loss).

ARE WE THERE YET?

To keep kids calm in the car, the traditional, old school activities where you count different things are good (like buses, yellow cars or Volkswagen Beetles). The other thing to do is to use search puz­zles, activity books or DVD players. To get teenagers involved in vacation activities, include them in the planning process. Vacations take a long time to plan, so once the destination is picked, sit down and go through brochures and go through the various options. Assign them the opportunity to go online and come up with a list of places to go.