The summer holidays are upon us and many pet owners will be traveling with their pets. Here is some useful information, some of which come from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA ) .
Planning and Preparation
It is very important to plan and prepare for the trip. Keep in mind that just like humans ,some pets simply resent traveling. For example,sick , injured or very anxious animals are not good candidates for traveling . If this is the case, do not hesitate to speak with your veterinarian. It will suggest options such as hiring a reliable guardian or a specialized board that has a good reputation .
On the subject of diseases, it is very important that your pet’s vaccines are up to date , especially if you are planning to go to another country . Inform yourself thru the government authorities of the country you are visiting to determine their requirements and have all the documents in your possession when you arrive at customs.(a couple phone calls ,a website and a little patience should go a long way).
If you ever plan to visit distant relatives ,ask them in advance if they do not have objections that you bring your pet .
If you ever plan to sleep in a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast or camping , make sure before you go that the area accepts pets. Some sites even have accommodation kennels or catteries that can be very useful.
When you travel with your pet, whatever the mode of transport , it is essential to properly identify it. Nowadays, more pets are equipped with a microchip , but facilitate a rapid return , equip your pet necklace with a medallion containing the information that will help you find your pet if it would happen to run away. Ideally , enter in your mobile number and keep the phone with you.
Another good idea is to have in your possession a printed photograph , ideally scanned in your phone ,of you and your animal,in case you need to prove to the authorities that you are indeed the owner of the found pet.
Traveling by car
Before taking a long road trip with your pet, make sure it is comfortable in the vehicle. A dog that suffers from travel sickness will be miserable in the car and make the whole family miserable . Fortunately, there are medications that work very well to prevent such problems, ask your veterinarian.
Traveling by plane
It’s always a concern for pet owners and pets when the traveling must be done by air. Some dogs and cats with short noses such as Beijing and Persians may have more difficulty breathing while traveling by air. Some airlines allow small pets in the cabin . This is ideal. Check with your airline .
Our main recommendation would be to try taking a direct flight during the week (less heavy air traffic ) Avoid traveling during holidays(the actual day) ,and wait at the last minute to board your pet into the aircraft.. Upon arrival, before even pick up your luggage, go grab your companion. During the summer , pick a flight early in the morning or late in the evening . In colder months , pick midday flights .
In closing, it is important to note that the main cause of accidents and lost pets during air travel,is malfunctioning transport cages.
It is important that the transport cage chosen is solid , intact and approved by your airline.
Here are the features a good transport cage must have :
-Be large enough to allow the animal to stand ( without touching the top of the cage ) sit up, turn around , and lie down in a natural position.
-Being provided with a security lock .
-Must be solid and free from internal debris.
-Must be equipped with one or more handles .
-Must have a strong , waterproof and filled with absorbent material, flooring.
-Identification: include your name , address, phone number at home, and the destination coordinates , and the designation ” live animals – Live animal ” with arrows indicating the position of the carrier.
-Must be properly ventilated so that the ventilation is never impeded by anything.