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How To Travel With Your Dog

Oct 25, 2007
Guide to Dog Travel

Taking your four footed best friend along to Hawaii? At least you can expect how long you will be flying the skies. The advance knowledge prepares you and your pooch for the long travel ahead in comfort and in style. You both land on your destination happily together. For those traveling with their pet dogs for the first time, there are a lot of travel requirements and policies to follow. Mind you, these airline policies can change in a year or two. You can get all the relevant information online and narrow down your choices.

Before Flying

Before booking a flight, inform the airline that you are traveling with your pet. With JetBlue, you get double reward points when you take along your Crumpet. However, different airlines have different requirements. So before getting a ticket, know the regulations - you wouldn't want to leave poor Crumpet behind. The pet-friendly airline like JetBlue will allow two more dogs aside from Crumpet. But you cannot take Poochie, and Smarty along. The airline policy is one customer to one pet.

Air travel with your pet entails separation for the duration of the travel. As always air travel is not a comfortable experience for a pet used to much freedom of movement. To be inside a kennel will require discipline from both your dog and you. However, in all airlines, you have to be assured that all pets are treated with care.

Pet-sitting Airlines

American Airlines places a restriction on the number of pets on board. So it will be your gentler Crumpet who can go along with you. At least, American Airlines will give her the best customer service alongside with you. In Air Canada, your pet can stay with you unless he fits into a kennel that can be placed under your seat. Some airlines will have a restriction on the weight of the dogs, not more than 5 kg. and they must be placed inside vented bags again, under your seat. This is to ensure the comfort of other passengers.

In United Airlines, Crumpet can be in the cabin with you (she goes as a checked baggage) or she may take a flight as unaccompanied cargo. However, like all other planes she has to stay put in the kennel throughout the flight, which may be distressing for a time. If Crumpet should go as checked baggage, she will be submitted to the checked-in counter. You get to see her at the claim area in your final stop.

Certificates and Quarantines

If you are crossing borders, a certificate from the USDA issued within 30 days before travel must be acquired. So get those viral shots. Again, pets less than 8 weeks and are in poor health are not allowed to travel. It would be a waste of time getting all those tickets for you and your family, to find out later that little Crumpet cannot come along. To be sure that all will end well, get the medical and rabies certificates. Remember that the different airline require different periods for the heath certificates. Make inquiries at the embassies of your country of destination to prevent travel glitches for Crumpet. Do this four weeks before the travel date.

Since you are going to Hawaii, you have to quarantine Crumpet for 120 days - that is 4 months! Well, don't despair. If other requirements are met, the quarantine period can be reduced. Crumpet must be rabies free, must pass the most recent OIE-FAVN blood test--this will qualify him for the 5 day or less program release. So at this point, even if you are not traveling anywhere near Stockholm, it would pay if you take care of these details regularly. So when the time comes, Crumpet will be ready.

If Crumpet qualifies for the 5-day less program, you have to leave her behind. When the time comes to get her, you cannot release her from the kennel, until you get into cab. Surely, Crumpet would be raring to get out of the airport kennel. But if it happens that your trip will entail a non-stop flight to Maui or Kauai, Crumpet cannot go with you. Pets are not allowed on non-stop flights. If Crumpet is pregnant and nearing her time, she will not be allowed to get on board too. This policy is for pet safety.

Other Issues to Look Into

Aside from the medical certificates and varied airline limitations, you have to determine the time of year you are going to Hawaii or any other vacation spot outside the country. Majority of the airlines are strict about temperature restrictions. They definitely will not allow the exposure of animals to extreme heat or temperature.

When the temperature surges higher than 85F certain dogs will not be admitted - Pugs are frequently restricted. Only when the temperature lowers to 75F will these kind of dogs be allowed to fly by certain airlines. On the other hand, some airlines will require a licensed veterinarian's acclimation statement. This paper includes the basic information of the passenger and the name of the pet. Of course, pets coming or going to extreme temperatures will require a forecast under 20F.

Except for service dogs, all canines have to stay inside kennels air travel is over. That includes Crumpet. To maker her comfortable, get her a double door pet carrier. Through the metal doors, you can see your pet. The carrier is easy to lean even if it is 10% thicker than other models. This can fit dogs weighing 100 lbs.

For smaller pets, the Delta Airlines Deluxe Pet Carrier is ideal when you can place your pet under your seat. A kennel on wheels will make it easier for you to lug Crumpet. It has a top and side entrance with tough working zipper closure and is highly favored by most airlines.

If you still worry about Crumpet's welfare, you can try Companion Air. Here you can check on Crumpet during the flight, and soothe her. That will make her travel, a comfortable experience. Make travel time a happy one for everybody and enjoy the vacation.
About the Author
Gerald Cormier is the owner of The Shih Tzu Store , a pet boutique specializing in small dogs. Stop by for dog travel tips and browse our selection of dog carriers
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